Nagpur: The ‘take over ‘ of NIT’s ‘Amusement and Water park’ called Krazy Castle by Nagpur Metro has begun. The compound wall was demolished and JCBs have begun digging holes in the park’s parking lot situated at the far end, towards Vivekanand Memorial side.
This demolition work began 4 days ago, soon after the meeting held at the residence of the Nagpur M.P. between Metro, NMC and NIT and Haldiram management. According to NMC sources, Haldiram management ‘agreed’ to give up the leased land on which Crazy Castle stands completely to Nagpur metro. Since their lease was to run till 2025, they will be compensated for their loss. The compensation is to be decided by a committee which has again been set up by the M.P.
But if you go to Crazy Castle anytime now, like the NT team went, you will find the park activities on in full steam.
Right at the entry, the wooden gates are being painted with a fresh coat in view of the weather and the crowds. There are security guards and hospitality staff all around.
Inside the park, there are youngsters screaming with thrilled excitement (tinged with a little fear!) at the 100 feet free fall, the 45″ Bungee Ejection and Krazy swinger. There are younger kids enjoying the milder rides like the Cater Pillar, the Carousal and the Cartoon Train.
Yesterday being Sunday about 1500 people visited the park.
“But our peak season begins from the last week of April to mid June. May is when maximum visitors are expected; that is when relatives and friends of Nagpurians come to visit, and Crazy Castle is one place where everyone loves to bring his guests!” Says Gautam Roy, G.M. of the park.
So this period sees up to 3000 visitors a day too. It’s like all roads lead to Ambazari and Crazy Castle then. Quite rightly so, since this is the only park of its kind lying right within the city. And much better equipped with many more rides and better infrastructure of international standards than any other ‘water park’ lying on the outskirts of the city, 40 to 60 Kms away. Just getting there and back can take half the day along uneven and bad country roads. And not every family has the wherewithal to carry their families to such far off places.
Haldiram got the tender for the park in 2000 – 2001. Crazy Castle opened its doors to visitors in 2006.
In the last few years, Crazy Castle has been a project that the Nagpur Improvement Trust is proud to call its most successful and attractive project. Just like common people bring their visitors, city fathers bring their official visitors too to showcase their achievement.
But now this park has to make its way for the Nagpur Metro
The city definitely wants its metro, and will get used to using it too. (Specially in the harsh summer months where the cool interiors will shield people from killer 47* temperatures.)
The iconic stations, the green carriages, the Heritage walks and parks being built by the Maha metro have been a talking point for all in the city.
It is going to be a metro unlike any in the country. And for its cause we are ready to suffer all the inconveniences of choked traffic, pot holed roads etc. etc. (We are even waiting in anticipation to see the metro sail overhead on the Ambazari lake moored on its embankments.)
But must the city’s only amusement and water park have to make way for it?
We all know that there is an abysmal shortage of recreational centers in the city. Malls like Empress, which came up with much fanfare have come to a tragic pass, like seen yesterday.
Where do Nagpur citizens go in the long summer days and months?
As Brijesh Dixit, M.D. of Mahametro has conceded metro requires very little part of the park for its ‘viaduct’. As little as 5 to 10% of the existing park, including its parking area, which has already been taken over.
Haldiram is one bright spot on Nagpur’s dismal business scene
If our recreation scene is bad, our business scenario is even worse.
MIHAN, Butibori industrial estate have not yielded as many local jobs as anticipated. (Where are the 50,000 jobs promised by Patanjali in the food park?)
In such a situation, can we afford to see almost 550 staff, workers, electricians etc. employed directly or through contractors, lose their jobs if Crazy Castle shuts down?
Anyone who has held a reception for their family weddings here will vouch for how imaginatively the place is lit up for parties.
“Since two years the specter of losing our park to the metro has been haunting us. And now the worst is about to happen. It is beyond shocking….it is unbelievable” say the Managers and supervisors who run the place.
The people still seem unaware of the happening though.
Will this place be taken away from Nagpurians forever??
—Sunita Mudliar (Executive Editor)