ISLAMABAD, July 22: The Rose and Jasmine Garden, located in the heart of Islamabad, once used to be the most visited park after Shakarparian. However, now the facility is in a shambles due to lack of maintenance.

The garden is known for its flowers and a number of festivals which are held here in the spring season every year. And this is the only time when the civic agency becomes active for the maintenance of the park.

The Rose and Jasmine Garden was the only attraction in the capital till early ‘90s.

The garden was established in 1970s, a decade after the establishment of the park.

The garden, according to a CDA official, saw its downfall after 2002.

“Soon after the establishment of new tourist spots like the Lakeview Park, jogging tracks in the greenbelts and F-6 Park along the Margalla Avenue and the Arts and Crafts Village, the civic agency started neglecting the garden,” said the official on the condition of anonymity.

The official said for the last about one decade the civic agency could only lay concrete footpaths, ignoring the maintenance of swings, lampposts and the green areas in the park.

“The garden has no proper fencing which also shows CDA’s lack of interest in developing the tourist spot.”

The visitors to the garden on Sunday also expressed similar feelings. “If you visit the Rose and Jasmine Garden these days, it will give you a deserted look since there is no attraction like swings for children,” said Ahmed Umar.

“I just stopped in the park for a while and after finding no attraction for my family and children, decided to move on to some other spot,” he maintained.

Umar added: “The swings and slides are broken and the CDA has failed to repair them even after the announcement of its annual budget for 2013-14.”

Faiza Ikram, another visitor to the garden, observed: “there are no facilities in the garden and my two children could not even walk in the park because of the growth of wild grass.

She added: “The CDA must be busy in mega projects and managing other parks and Rose and Jasmine Garden may not be its priority.”

The garden currently also has a number of lampposts but almost all of them are out of order.

Besides, the covered sitting areas are not fit for sitting.

Dr Faizullah Khan, a daily visitor to the park, told Dawn: “I have been visiting the park for evening walk for the last seven years and the facilities here have declined. The park has even no proper washroom for visitors.”

When contacted for comments, CDA spokesman Dr Naeem Rauf claimed: “The garden is managed properly and there are no issues at all as per our update.”

He insisted that proper maintenance was done in all the parks and Rose and Jasmine Garden was one of them.

“If you can point any specific neglected area in Rose and Jasmine Garden, the CDA will address the problem within a shortest possible time,” added Dr Rauf.