ISLAMABAD: The public parks and playgrounds in the federal capital need the attention of the authorities concerned to make them clean and attractive places for the visitors.
Islamabad is famous for its large number of resorts and public parks. However, due to a large number of visitors from other parts of the country, mainly on special occasions, the condition of these parks and playgrounds becomes poor which needs regular attention for maintenance by the authority concerned.
According to a senior official of Capital Development Authority (CDA), there are 175 public parks and playgrounds. He added that over 1,200 technical and non-technical staff is deployed in the CDA for the purpose of keeping these parks clean and green.
A resident of Sector I-10, Khizar Hayat said, “Public parks in the majority of the areas including I-10, I-9, I-8, F-6 and F-7 including G-6, are in poor condition with broken benches, lights, swings and uneven walking tracks.”
Finding a public toilet in the parks have always been a hard task for people and if toilets exist, they are in a deplorable condition as the unhygienic conditions, shortage of water in the taps, and non-functioning of the flush systems force people to think twice before using them.
Zameer Safi, a regular visitor to Fatima Jinnah Park said, “Most of the parks and playgrounds are in an appalling condition in the capital. Its decaying condition speaks volumes about the lack of interest of CDA officials”.
The facility of clean drinking water is also missing in most of the parks. After sunset, many wild animals are seen roaming in the parks too. The parks are thronged by junkies in the evening, making it impossible for families to enjoy.
Meanwhile, the visitors are often fleeced by vendors, who charge them highly for soft drinks and edibles. The price of a cup of tea is Rs30 in most of the parks besides high entry, parking fees.
Zahid Farooq, a resident of F-11/1 said, “The swings and other playing instruments installed at a park near his house had broken, posing a threat to children.” There was no one to replace or repair them.
The residents urged the CDA to take notice of the situation and speed up maintenance work for equipping the parks with facilities such as public transport, parking, toilets, and clean drinking water beside the free entrance, and normal prices of edibles.
When contacted, a senior official told APP that “the capital has the largest number and state-of-the-art parks. However, the allocation of funds is insufficient for renovation and provision of the required facilities.”
Moreover, he called upon the citizens to also help the government in maintaining the public facilities by taking care of such facilities while using them.