SRINAGAR: A recreational park designed for children in Hazuri Bagh area of capital Srinagar is fast turning into a garbage dump and hazardous as most of the swings are broken, rusty and unsafe for the children.
Gulshan-e-Atfaal (Children’s Garden) was inaugurated by the then Chief Minister Omar Abdullah in a part of a spacious garden, previously known as Hazuri Bagh. The location was ideal for creating a recreational park due to proximity of Lala Ded maternity hospital, Iqbal Park, Tagore Hall and Indoor Sports Stadium.
Over the years, the the callous approach of the authorities has turned the Children’s Park into garbage bin. The situation worsened after the devastating flood of 2014 when the Park remained submerged under water for more than two weeks.
“The park is poorly maintained and the swings and other installations and equipments in the park have lived their life. They are posing threat to the safety of children”, Abdul Majeed a resident, who had taken his children to the park for recreation, told Kashmir Reader.
“I personally informed the authorities about the park’s poor condition but they are not ready to set the park right”, he said.
The Park is maintained by Department of Floriculture that looks after Kashmir’s famed Mughal gardens and other designated parks.
“The park should either be closed down or the repairs must be done without any delay”, another parent Ishaq Ahmad said.
Interestingly, the Park managers religiously charge entry fee to every child and adult who wishes to enter the enclave.
“There is nothing recreational for the children. Why should we pay for the entry”, Ahmad said.
The condition of washrooms and toilets in the park is also in mess. The floriculture staff posted in the park declined to comment on the park’s maintenance.
Assistant Floriculture Officer, Nazir Mir, who supervises the Park said that would take interest in the maintenance and upkeep of the park. Mir has joined to oversee the park quite recently.
“I have been given the additional charge only a few months ago. You will see a change in the upkeep of recreational park in near future”, he said.