3 years on, work on Citizen Park yet to take off

Govt blames lack of funds

MUKEET AKMALI
Srinagar, Publish Date: Sep 25 2018 11:30PM | Updated Date: Sep 25 2018 11:30PM
3 years on, work on Citizen Park yet to take offRepresentational Pic

Despite passing of three years, authorities have failed to start work on the much-hyped Citizen’s Park at Tatoo Ground Batamaloo here. 

It was in 2015 that the government took over 76 kanals of land from the Army at Tattoo Ground in Batamaloo area, here. The land was to be utilized for establishing a Citizen Park. Three years down the line, the Park is nowhere in sight. 

The Citizens’ Park was one of the pet projects of former Chief Minister, late Mufti Muhammad Sayeed. He had laid its foundation in 2015 after “persuading” Army to vacate 136 kanals, out of which 76 kanals had been handed over to the state government.

However, officials blamed dearth of funds as major hindrance for delay in establishing the park. A senior official admitted that delay in finalising designs and funding hampered work on the project. “Otherwise projects like these won’t take more than a year to complete.”

“Though some work has been done, but liquidity crunch in the project has resulted in its delay,” said a senior tourism department official adding that “otherwise the park was to be completed in a year. But funds shortage has led to time overrun.”

He exuded hope that by the end of this year, the project will be completed. “By next year, it would be thrown open for public,” he said. 

The state government had been asking the army to vacate 1,000 kanals of prime land at Tattoo Ground. In 2015, after a civil-military liaison conference chaired by then Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, the army had agreed to vacate 136 kanals.

Officials said the park would be jointly used by the public and the army men. Officials said it was for the first time that the army had agreed to part with a chunk of land for development of the Citizens’ Park.

“Once constructed, the Park will have modern facilities like children’s aquatic games areas, walkways, food court, art gallery, library, coffee shop, herbal garden, parking bays and lawns and landscape area,” he said. 

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