RAWALPINDI, Oct 21: The City District Government Rawalpindi (CDGR) has provided Rs30 million to Parks and Horticulture Agency (PHA) for development of parks and greenbelts of the garrison city.
“We have released the funds and asked the PHA to give us desired results within two months,” said District Coordination Officer (DCO) Saqib Zafar, while talking to Dawn.
The government handed over the funds to the caretakers of the parks on October 19.
The public parks in the city are in a shambles as slides, swings and rides, the major attractions for children, have almost been lying broken.
They even do not have watchmen and gardeners and the boundary walls. Families and children refused to visit these parks in the evening due to its worst condition.
Noman Ali, a regular visitor to the Nawaz Sharif Park, blamed the indifference of the PHA officials for its poor condition. He said that he visited the park regularly for morning walk or in the evening but had never seen any gardener working there.
Another visitor, Aftab Ahmed, alleged that the civic authorities had ignored parks and their gardeners maintained the lawns of their bosses at their houses. “See the fountain which has been lying in a bad shape for the last four years. I have no alternative so I come here daily,” he said.
Abdul Hameed Malik said that the Nawaz Sharif Park gave a pathetic look as if there was no one to take care of it.
The city government established the PHA last year and transferred 200 gardeners and other staff of Rawal Town Municipal Administration (RTMA) to it but failed to allocate budget for its development and non-development expenses. RTMA is giving the salaries of the PHA staff through its annual budget.
“We have received the funds from the provincial government and handed over to the PHA. The Pindiites will see the beautiful parks and greenbelts in coming days,” the DCO said.
The PHA managing director Capt (retired) Mushtaq Ahmed confirmed receiving the funds, and the work on improving the parks would soon be started. “First of all, we will re-develop Nawaz Sharif Park on the pattern of Lakeview Park,” he said while talking to Dawn.
He said presently the PHA was working on renovation of four parks at Satellite Town which would complete soon. Apart from renovating of parks, the PHA was also focusing on roads and greenbelts. He assured that all main roads and greenbelts would give new look within two months.