Saturday, July 24, 2021

Jamshedpur picnic spots: Open forum for further pandemic intrusion

Mail News Service

Jamshedpur, Dec 14: The colours of winter are slowly but steadily emerging as birds and humans have started arriving in groups near water bodies and parks to cool their frayed nerves from the mad rush to nowhere in materialistic pursuits and relax amidst soothing nature with family and friends, far away from the maddening crowd of the city scenario. Thanks to the dip in mercury, places like Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary, Dimna Lake and Joyda are buzzing with picnickers these days. On Monday people in large numbers clamored to every viable point to enjoy family picnics.

Dalma forest area dotted with varying degrees of dense forests, soothing patches of grassland and shrubs with water bodies harbouring rich flora and fauna, offers the picnickers a wide variety of picks to spend their day. This is a place that attracts many visitors during the picnic season because of its rich biodiversity. Hundreds of species of plants reach out towards the sun clinging and swarming around their taller neighbours, colonizing their trunks and feeding on their fallen leaves.

 “Picnic times change the scenario of this beautiful Dalma region. Otherwise left to itself picnickers during this season make a beeline for this place thereby presenting a happy contrast.” says a regular to the place. “The park has filled the much needed vacuum, the place craved for it,” says Shakeel Ahmed, a school teacher. Though there are restrictions on people entering the area or the vicinity of the place, youngsters are having fun trekking through the rocky terrain. “The rough terrain tests one’s abilities,” puts in an adventurous youth.

 This season is a boom time for caterers, tent house suppliers and transport contractors plying mini buses, as they take the organizational hassles off the shoulders of picnicking parties. These picnics also serve as ‘kitty parties’ with each participating family adding spice by contributing to the day’s menu.

Despite all the rush and long queues, the faces of all those who had reached their destinations gleamed with happiness.

“I always wanted to go for the boat ride and we have done that twice today,” said Ramesh Mehra who enjoyed his picnic with his family at Chandil. Even the kiosks selling food and snacks wore a happy look as business boomed after a longish lull inflicted by the COVID pandemic. 

With almost everybody trying to get as close to their destinations as possible, the spot seemed choked with traffic. The air was thick with gasoline fumes as the engines of hundreds of vehicles were idling with the owners waiting to find some place to park. Like the picnic spots, major food courts in the twin cities also had best of times registering a heavy rush in the evening.

Almost all the restaurants were filled to capacity in the city, while the festive looks were more visible at the food joints along NH 33.“The people are happy and enjoying; the best thing is that there has not been any incident in the area recently,” said the manager of a restaurant on the NH 33.

 But what is of concern is the deliberate or otherwise of the ‘annihilation’ of the COVID-19 protocols. Revelers were seen without masks and the social distancing norms were pooh-poohed without qualms. It is good and also a must to take time out of the grinds of daily living and take refuge amidst fun, frolic and nature. But that does not alienate people from the dangers of this life threatening viral infection. The district and police administrations are trying their level best and beyond, to save the people from the horrors of coronavirus infection. Why carry back home the joys of one day’s living with COVID-19 virus tucked in the folds of empty food bags and fun dresses? Enjoy but live and let live. Do not make Jamshedpur picnic spots open forums for the avoidable pandemic.

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