Of Journalism

December 21, 2008

Of Parks in the city

Filed under: Uncategorized — fawadalishah @ 4:52 pm

 

Forgotten land!: Lyari Model Park: Unclaimed property?

By Fawad Ali Shah

The neglected fountain

The neglected fountain

 

KARACHI: Broken benches, repulsive odours and remnants of a once lush green park. That’s what remains of the Maulvi Sadiq, Lyari Model Park.

Located in between the IC road and the Khadda Market it was built in order to provide the lower middle class residents of Lyari Town an open space for recreation. 

The foundation stone of this park was laid down by then City Nazim Naimutullah Khan on May 10, 2005. 

The sprawling park spread over two acres according to official records is home to a jogging track, canopy platform, swings for children, fountains and flower beds. According to area residents the park when inaugurated was in immaculate condition, however only a few months after, it fell victim to neglect. The park has been divided into two parts one for male individuals and the other for families and women. The section meant for families and women had lush green lawns, flowers and was equipped with swings and seesaws for children. The section reserved for males had benches, fountains and sunroofs. Employees belonging to the city district government regularly watered the gardens and took good care to maintain the park. But since then, things at the Lyari Park have changed. 

The once lush green gardens of the Lyari Park have now become barren lands filled with dirt. Flower beds are home to stray dogs and the fountains stink of polluted water. Unknown offenders have defaced benches while drug addicts and thieves have taken out anything they could get their hands on. One can smell the stench from sewers that run alongside the park. As for the playground, its remnants still exist.

Hanzla, 21, is a regular at the park. Soon after the park opened doors to the public, the residents of the area were really happy, as they finally had a place they could use to entertain themselves without having to spend money he says. Hanzla narrates the sorrow tale of the deteriorating park saying that as time passed by authorities forgot about the park. “Only drug addicts and dogs come here at night” he claims. Sabir, another resident feels the same way. “No body owns the park” he says. 

Union Council Nazim Karim Nizamani when contacted by the Daily Times said that the park had not yet been handed over to them by the city district government (CDG). “We have sent written requests regarding the park to the department of the CDG, but have yet to receive a reply,” he said denying further comment.

The District Officer Parks Karachi Liaquat Ali Khan however said that since the park was complete it was now the responsibility of the town government to look after it. “The city government has other big projects to work on,” he explained adding, that the city government will nevertheless repair the walls which were damaged by CDG vehicles while cleaning up the nearby sewers. 

Town Nazim Mehmood Hashim is not ready to take responsibility either. “In my knowledge the model park is incomplete,” he said claiming that he had written so many complaints to the CDG about the miserable conditions of the Maulvi Sadiq model park. 

Muhammad Farman, 30, who lives near Khadda market, is both angry and confused. He “If no one wants to take ownership of the park then why was created in the first place? Why did they have to waste national income?” he asks?

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