Patna: Recognising the shortcomings which resulted in a stampede, and bomb blasts at a rally last year, the Bihar government is working on a plan to give a facelift to the Gandhi Maidan by installing broad gates and CCTV cameras.
"Work is in progress to give a facelift to the Gandhi Maidan for better security and civic facilities," Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Jitendra Rana told PTI on Monday.
A stampede in Gandhi Maidan on October 3 after the 'Ravana Vadh (slaying of the demon king)' left 33 dead and 29 others injured.
On October 27, 2013, six serial bomb blasts had rocked the Maidan just before Narendra Modi's address a gathering. Five persons were killed and 66 were injured in the incident.
Previously known as the Patna Lawns, Gandhi Maidan is a historic ground near the banks of River Ganga. Several movements were launched here during the freedom struggle, including the Champaran movement and the Quit India movement of 1942. The 1974 JP movement was also launched from this historic ground.
The world's tallest 70-feet Gandhi statue was installed at this ground last year.
Rana, who succeeded Manu Maharaj as SSP Patna in the wake of the stampede, said like Pragati Maidan in Delhi, Gandhi Maidan would have three broad gates in funnel shape with facility of public address system and the gates would provide buffer zone to the people so that they do not get directly exposed to heavy traffic on the main road after stepping out from the ground.
The narrow opening of the gate towards Ramgoolam Chowk has been highlighted as one of the main reasons for the stampede along with poor light arrangements.
The Maidan of around 2.5 km radius would have four watch towers manned by security personnel, the SSP said, adding that vehicles near the Gandhi Maidan police station would be removed.
Rana said a committee of prominent citizens would be constituted for maintenance of the ground from rent collected and the District Magistrate, SSP and other officials would be its members.
The committee would be approved tomorrow at a meeting convened by the Divisional Commissioner, he said.