SHOPIAN: The lone park in the main town of Shopian in the vicinity of government hospital has been reduced to pile rubbish and park vehicles illegally.
Locals from the main town told Kashmir Reader that the authorities were responsible for the degradation of the park. “some years back department of floriculture spent Rs 3crore on the development and up-gradation of this park. Later, the municipal committee used it as dumping site of dust and building rubble,” a group of locals said adding a portion of the park is now used for parking.
Muhammad Ashraf, a local resident said that they agitated the issue before the concerned authorities but they did not pay any heed.
A lady identified as Khatoon, who lives in the park’s neighbourhood told Kashmir Reader that their children have no place to play. “Earlier our children were playing and refreshing their minds after school but when the municipal committee put it for vehicle parking our children have no place to go,” she said.
Attendants of patients in district hospital used to have lunch in this park as the district hospital lacks infrastructure and park facilities. “The patients used to have lunch and take rest in this park but when the authorities degraded it by making it dumping cum parking site, nobody used it for recess,” a villager who was attending to a patient in the nearby hospital said.
The park is dotted with a dozen dust bins but they are not visible anywhere now. As a result the garbage is scattered everywhere. “These dustbins were removed in 2016 summer uprising on the orders of superintendent of police. Recently we tried to reinstall them but locals refused on the grounds that stone pelters were using these dust bins as shields and government forces were ransacking their property, “officials from municipal committee Shopian said.
Deputy Commissioner Shopian, Manzoor Ahmad Qadri said, ” I will take stock of this issue,” he said.