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HYDERABAD, Nov 21: Visitors on Saturday will step inside an entirely reinvigorated Rani Bagh after its inaugural by Sindh Governor Ishrat ul Ebad.

Having spent Rs150 million on its refurbishment and renovation, the district government plans to hand it over to Taluka Municipal Administration (TMA) Qasimabad on Saturday after its inauguration. The people, it is hoped would love to visit the place, if properly kept.

Undoubtedly, it is a step in the right direction on the part of district government for providing healthy recreational environment to the people of Hyderabad and its adjoining districts. Rani Bagh would serve as a significant location with its eye-catching view and relaxing atmosphere.

Sprawling over 58 acres, the Bagh until recently had gone to dogs – courtesy official neglect while none in successive governments ever bothered at preserving the historic resort. District Nazim Kanwar Naveed Jamil raised the cost of project from Rs50 million to Rs150 million for providing quality recreational facility to people.

One can thoroughly enjoy the scenic beauty of the garden from any angle with iron fencing and boundary walls well-positioned but the threat of stray dogs still hounding at places.

The land of garden remained water-logged with municipal zoo nothing to offer to visitors and birdwatchers. So bad were the condition of zoo and the cages of animals that some animals were sent to Karachi after heavy rains in September 2006, which inundated the Rani Bagh and municipal zoo, besides disturbing few urban settlements.

It’s a pride to have a beautiful spot in city’s centre and approachable from all four talukas and districts.

The TMA plans charging a nominal entrance fee from visitors to meet maintenance cost for the upkeep of such a huge infrastructure and to discourage the lousy lot from making it their haven. There would be two entrances one from the Fatima Jinnah Road and the other from Qasimabad.

Both, garden and zoo are laid with comfortable pathways along with a secured play area for children. Placement of canopies is an added advantage not only for eyes but for relaxation, also. Installation of two filter plants and some 13 fountains among a myriad of milky bulbs and dotted pathways provide a breathtaking scene. An artificial lake on 50,000-square-feet for boating purpose is another speck. The pathways can both be used as jogging and walking tracks.

According to the Deputy Project Director of the Hyderabad Development Package Abdul Aleem Ghori some 2,000 new plants have given a new lease to the park with plans on to acquire a trackless train through the assistance of private sector. Tile drainage, he hoped, would help in overcoming water logging and salinity for the benefit of grass and plants.

Another achievement is cages constructed for imported animal species like vervet monkey, blue monkey, yellow baboon, grey parrot, black buck, mafloon, alpaca, zebra, lama pony horse, blue, green wing and gold macaw (parrots), black, fallow, spotted, and white fallow (deer), provided by Taaz Zoological Breeding and Research Karachi with the help of district government. Animals, including a lioness are being transported back from Karachi at a cost of Rs11 million.

The adjacent open air theatre – popular place for stage-dramas - Eid Gah and Abbas Bhai Park too, have been given a facelift. People began thronging Rani Bagh on knowing that the renovation was done but were denied entry on Friday as final touches were being given for its inaugural on Saturday.

Abbas Bhai Park, in the past, was blatantly used for marriage parties and was even let out to a caterer. One sincerely hopes that it will not be allowed for such occasions in future.

However, reports are rife that a federal minister plans holding the wedding function of his son next month, probably in Abbas Bhai Park.