Sunday, May 13, 2012

Thieves walk off with Mayawati park's bronze gate

Lucknow: May 10, 2012
The people might have voted out Mayawati, but her pet projects seem to have found great favour with thieves.
The object of their latest attention is the showpiece Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar Park, whose bronze gates worth nearly Rs. 4 lakh have vanished. The theft took place on March 30, a fortnight after the new government was sworn in. The day before, the government had withdrawn the 450 home guards deployed at Maya's half-a-dozen dream projects.
How the thieves managed to walk away unseen with the 3ftx4ft gate, which weighed a few tons, is a matter of conjecture. But the park's private security guards did manage to foil a later attempt to filch some of the fixtures.
"There was obviously more than one person involved in the gate theft," said senior BSP leader Naseemuddin Siddiqui. "The thieves used a gas cutter to pry it off the hinges and probably carried it along the river bank."
Predictably, the theft has raised no hue and cry in the government.
"On April 3, we lodged an FIR with the Hazratganj police, but nothing happened," said an official of the committee responsible for the memorial's upkeep.
On May 3, Siddiqui finally wrote to SN Shukla, principal secretary, Housing, and drew his attention to the theft.
But Mayawati need not grieve.
Former chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav's dream project Ram Manohar Lohia Path was similarly targeted after he was voted out. The ruin of the six-lane expressway began with the theft of the street-lamps, each of which cost around Rs. 4,500.
Anticipation is now building about the next project of the thieves. Will Mayawati's statues find a place on their list? Only time can tell.
First Published: 00:12 IST(11/5/2012)
Last Updated: 01:22 IST(11/5/2012)


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