Baramulla residents demand proper maintenance of neglected Cariappa Park

Baramulla residents demand proper maintenance of neglected Cariappa Park

Baramulla: In the bustling heart of Baramulla town in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, a once vibrant oasis of tranquility stands in silent despair.

The Cariappa Park, named after India's first Commander-in-Chief Field Marshal Kodandera Madappa Cariappa, has long been a cherished jewel of this historic town. However, neglect has cast a shadow over its verdant beauty, leaving the park in a state of disrepair that deeply troubles the people of Baramulla town.

Decades ago, this park was a thriving hub of life, attracting both young and old with its resplendent display of flowers and lush greenery. Families would gather here during the serene evenings, finding solace and respite from their daily routines. A library, operated by the Municipal Council of Baramulla, adorned the park, where visitors could lose themselves in the world of books amidst the soft embrace of grass.

The Cariappa Park held a special place in the hearts of the town's residents. Its history is intertwined with the generosity of Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa himself. In the early days of independent India, Cariappa, after chasing raiders beyond Uri, was confronted by locals who had suffered due to the scarcity of food supplies, including salt. Despite the army having no stocks to offer, Cariappa kept his promise and returned the next day with flour, rice, and salt for the needy families.

This compassionate act left an indelible mark on the people of Baramulla, who were moved by Cariappa's benevolence. In gratitude, they named the park after him, a park that stands to this day as a testament to a soldier's kindness.

Recent developments, however, have left the Cariappa Park in a state of neglect. The Municipal Council of Baramulla, entrusted with its care, has failed to maintain this cherished green space. Locals have watched with dismay as the park has withered away, its once-vibrant aura fading into oblivion.

“For the town residents, Carriapa park was a place of social discourse. It was an area simply devoted simply to green landscape. However, with the passage of time, the authorities completely neglected it thus depriving the people from the only place of solace,” said Mushtaq Ahmad, a local resident.

Although, the Municipal Council did some decorative work in front of the park but “the soul of the park, its landscape deteriorated with each passing day.”

 There is a glimmer of hope in the form of a new library under construction, worth approximately Rs 3 crore, to replace the old library within the park. While this is a positive step, it does not address the dire need to restore the park itself. Residents of Baramulla town feel that the Municipal Council should have prioritize the maintenance of the park to ensure that it remains a cherished place for community gatherings and relaxation.

 It is worth noting that on April 10, 2022, the family of Field Marshal Cariappa, including his son Air Marshal (Rtd.) K.C. Nanda Cariappa, paid their respects at the park. During this visit, authorities pledged to restore the park to its former glory, but unfortunately, little progress has been made in that direction.

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