Chinar Bagh proves damp squib
GK NEWS NETWORK
Srinagar, May 27: The much-hyped Chinar Bagh Heritage Park here is proving to be a damp squib due to lack of efforts by the Tourism Department to market it and woo tourists to the picturesque spot.
Constructed at a cost of Rs 3 crore, Chinar Bagh was inaugurated by the Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, in a glittering function earlier this month. The objective of the park was to provide evening recreational spot particularly for the tourists.
Owing to its serene ambience, Chinar Bagh was a favorite haunt of British who used to stay in tents beneath the mighty Chinar trees. However, since early ‘80s, Chinar Bagh was extensively encroached upon with hundreds of illegal structures, wiping it off the tourist map of Kashmir. However, after the intervention of the High Court, authorities took measures to restore the park’s glory.
In the first phase, the Tourism Department restored the park’s three islands equipping it with musical foundations, swings and kiosks showcasing culture of Kashmir. However, in absence of marketing and proper utilization, the sprawling park has failed to attract tourists. Ironically, an open air theatre in the park, constructed for hosting cultural programs in the evenings, has not been used since the inauguration.
“Only few tourists visit the park during the day so we close it in the evenings” said a security guard manning the park.
Incidentally, the CM while inaugurating the park had expressed resentment over the replication of recreational and entertainment facilities there.
“I have observed that in most city parks, we have built amphitheatres and food courts. There is need to organize festivals to make use of these facilities. There are many novel themes and we are really missing evening attractions for the tourists. Creation of infrastructure is easy but its maintenance and proper utilization is the real challenge,” the CM had said.
The CM had also directed the Tourism Department to organize festivals in various tourism places including Chinar Bagh to attract tourists and generate economic activities for the locals, however the order is yet to be implemented.
Tourism stakeholders of the Valley have recommended construction of alternative routes to the park and organizing cultural programs in evenings.
“The road leading to Chinar Bagh is too narrow to accommodate tourist vehicles. If footbridges are constructed to the park from Dalgate side, it would provide an easy access to the tourists putting up in Boulevard and its adjoining areas,” said Manzoor Ahmad, the junior vice-president of Kashmir Hotel Restaurant Owners Federation.
However, the secretary general of JK Tourism Alliance, Nasir Shah said that tourists avoid visiting Chinar Bagh due to their tight schedule. “The tourists usually visit Kashmir for few days to see popular tourist destinations. The problem is compounded as the tourists leave Srinagar early in the morning and return in evening due to no-entry in the City. There is need to market Chinar Bagh across the Country and organize novel events like theme dinners and cultural programs to attract the tourists,” Shah said.
The Minister of State for Tourism and Culture, Nasir Aslam Wani, said measures are underway to market Chinar Bagh.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 27 May 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 27 May 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 28 May 2011 00:00:00 IST
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