Historic Pratap Park losing sheen
Srinagar, Mar 25: In absence of any conservation measures by the successive regimes, Pratap Park in the City’s commercial hub Lal Chowk is gradually losing its glory.
From a recreational spot, the park has turned into an uneven and filthy place mostly used for staging sit-ins and political events.
“Till a few decades ago, the Park used to be a favorite recreational spot. But now it has been turned into a waste land. With a slight downpour, the Park is inundated due to lack of drainage facilities. Nobody cares about maintenance of this historical park,” said Abdul Majeed, 45, of Jawahar Nagar who has been a regular visitor to the Park since his college days.
Pertinently, Pratap Park had been built in the name of Maharaja Pratap Singh during his 40-year rule starting from 1885-1925. Today, when poet cum social activist Zareef Ahmad Zareef recollects its history, he mentions that the basic aim of the park was recreation.
“It used to serve as a resting place for people who used to throng Lal Chowk. After its encroachment due to road widening, nobody cared about it. The construction of lavatories in the Park proved to be final nail in its coffin,” Zareef said.
Besides political rallies and sit-ins, the park is being used as a short cut to reach MA Road from Lal Chowk. Though a fountain operates throughout the day in the Park, people say its water emanates a pungent smell.
“The Park has no flowers and the garden is uneven and inundated. It would be better if Government converts the Park into a parking lot,” said Asif Muhammad, a trader at Lal Chowk.
Director Floriculture Department Kashmir Dr G S Naqash blamed the road widening near MA Road for the Park’s condition.
“We have stopped the Park’s development as its one side is being utilized for road widening.
Water logging in the Park is due to blocking of nearby drain and raising of road level. We are going to level the Park in coming days,” he added.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 25 Mar 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 25 Mar 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 26 Mar 2011 00:00:00 IST
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