A cultural hub with many problems

A cultural hub with many problems

Locality Check

Chittaranjan Park, also known as C R Park is home to a large Bengali community in Delhi.

SOCIETAL ISSUES A residential colony in Chittaranjan Park.Established in the early 1960s under the name EPDP Colony or East Pakistan Displaced Persons Colony, it was renamed after freedom fighter Chittaranjan Das, in the 1980s.

Bordered by Kalkaji, Greater Kailash I and II, Alaknanda and Govindpuri, it is adjacent to the business centre at Nehru Place and originally consisted of 2,000 plots, divided into 11 blocks from A to K, along with a number of markets and cultural spaces. Later new blocks like M, N, O, K-1, K-2, Pocket 40 (referred to as Navapalli), Pocket 52 (referred to as Dakhinpalli) and Pocket-K were also added. The main thoroughfare of the colony is Bipin Chandra Pal Marg.

Despite its posh neighbourhood, C R Park reels under many issues that make its residents an unhappy lot. “I am fed up with the number of constructions happening in this area. They create so much noise. At night there are trucks coming and dumping their waste. The positive about this area is its markets. You get anything and everything in these markets,” said Arjun Thakur, a resident here.

Another resident shared that the best part about the area is its Bengali community. “Everybody is a Bengali here. It feels really good and special. Although the water and sewage problem just continues endlessly,” shared Somnath Sur. Bharati Chakraborty had all good things to say about the area. “The area does not have any specific problem. Everything is fine here,” she shares.

C R Park is also the main hub of the Durga Puja celebrations and attracts devotees from all over the country towards its elaborate pandals and traditional Bengali functions. The Durga Puja celebrations here are held at B-Block, Kali Mandir, Co-operative Ground, Mela Ground, and Navapalli (Pocket 40). Auditoriums at Chittaranjan Bhawan and Bipin Pal Bhawan also host regular performances of Bengali theatre and music. But just when the Durga Puja lustre fades away, C R Park gets back to its pressing issue of lack of transportation. 

Utpal Ghosh, convenor of Federation of Chittaranjan Park Residents’ Welfare Association (FCPRWA) had more concerns to share. He said, “Other than lack of transportation, the major problems is the encroachment on footpaths. There is also a lack of man power controlling the traffic here.” Chittaranjan Park is also home to one of the City’s main markets for freshwater fish--an integral part of any Bengali cuisine, a large Kali temple, several cultural centres, four big markets specialising in Bengali sweets and numerous stalls selling Calcutta-style street food.