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Part of Faisalabad’s second biggest park a picture of neglect

Part of Faisalabad’s second biggest park a picture of neglect

FAISALABAD: The rear side of Kaleem Shaheed Park, second biggest park of the city, is being neglected by the Parks and Horticulture Authority as its once-attractive waterfall and a small hill are in a shambles, footpaths in a rundown condition and the lake dry for years.

The front side of the park was lined with flower beds only. All means for amusement such as swings for children, lake, small hill and other things have been set up at the back.

Former mayor Chaudhry Sher Ali, father of State Minister for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali, had set up the park for the people of Ghulam Muhammadabad, one of the biggest colonies in the country. With the passage of time instead of getting additional facilities, visitors said those already available were disappearing or diminishing due to, what they called, the indifferent attitude of officials concerned.

“The park has no tree for shade, forcing people to leave immediately after their morning walks in summers. This is enough to gauge how much importance is being given to the park and the dwellers of Ghulam Muhammadabad,” said Umer Yaqoob, a native of Kaleem Shaheed Colony.

He claimed the administration had damaged the park by allotting its front part to a graveyard on the behest of a provincial lawmaker. If it was really necessary, the administration could have given the rear side that was already being neglected for months, he added.

More than a hundred gardeners were receiving salaries, but they were only maintaining the front side. They came to the park, worked on a few plants, played cards and then left, Yaqoob added.

This correspondent observed that the once-attractive hill at the park was in a shabby condition and one of the two sheds constructed on it had been removed.

Mohsin Ali, a visitor, said the waterfall and two sheds attracted people to the small hill that also had a beautiful footpath around it. However, now the footpath was in a rundown condition and plants on the hill had also decayed. Different flowers had been grown inside used tyres fixed at different points of the hill. The tyres were still there but without any flowers despite a number of gardeners working at the park.

The barren hill still attracted people, especially children, but it could be dangerous for the visitors without any safety measures around it, Mohsin lamented.

Javeria Noreen, a private school teacher visiting the park along with her students, said it was distressing that neither hygienic eatables were available for children nor potable water. She said it was also sad that the park did not have a separate area for females.

“It is not mandatory that the administration establishes a walled area for women. But it must set up a female enclosure,” she added.

Naseer Alam, a sportsman, said people wanted to come to the park for a walk at night, but there were no streetlights here. He said electricity poles had been fixed but there were no lights attached to them for years. He further said the government should focus on the plight of visitors and bring it on the par with the Jinnah Garden, the biggest public park in the city.

Published in Dawn, April 15th, 2015

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