Islamabad: Back in early 1970s, the country’s most prolific satirist, Sher Mohammad Khan, popularly known as Ibne Insha, wrote in one of his columns published in ‘Jang’ that the Blue Area (later renamed as Jinnah Avenue) is a dividing line between the rich and poor of this socially and economically segregated city. Today’s Islamabad tells us as to how prophetic were his assertions of the time.

However, Capital Development Authority (CDA) Chairman Imtiaz Inayat Elahi aims to bring about a change in the system, as he directed officials to plan the upcoming recreational facilities in all parts of the federal capital instead of converging those to a few specific areas and sectors, enabling the residents of all sectors to have such facilities close to their homes.

At present, there are a few recreational spots in the city such as the Pakistan Monument atop Shakarparian hillock, the Rose & Jasmine Garden (the oldest spot in town), the newly developed Lakeview Park, the F-9 park, the Saidpur Village, the Islamabad Zoo, the Japanese Children’s Park, Daman-e-Koh and Pir Sohawa atop Margalla Hills as well as the ‘hiking trails’ snaking up Margalla Hills to name a few.

Except for three, the Shakarparian, the Rose & Jasmine Garden and the newly developed Lakeview Park, the rest of the recreational facilities are all on the other side of the Jinnah Avenue or to put it more subtly, those are out of reach for the majority of population of the federal capital, living in the densely populated ‘G’ and ‘I series’ sectors. Similarly, most of the popular eateries and major shopping centres are all on the north side of the Jinnah Avenue. However, the best places for the inhabitants of those living on the southern side of the Jinnah Avenue are the weekly bazaars of the CDA.

Chairman Imtiaz Inayat Elahi, who visited the Lakeview Park on the banks of Rawal Lake Wednesday, directed the concerned departments in the CDA to spread out the future recreational projects in a way that inhabitants of all sectors should have something to enjoy nearer their abodes. He also directed them to plan these recreational projects self-sustainable to ensure those are successful and properly maintained by those who would be provided any sort of business/commercial activities in such recreational facilities.

The chairman was not pleased with the maintenance as well as security arrangements and ordered to take care of these important aspects on priority basis. “Proper security arrangements including fencing of the parks and recreational spots shall be made to facilitate the public and avoid untoward incidents,” he added.

The chairman also directed to relocate kiosks in public parks to give the recreational facilities made available in the park a decent and welcoming look to the visitors.

He said that the system of imposition of fine would be made more effective to overcome the littering issue in the parks. “All the vendors providing services in the parks should be licensed to ensure quality of the products and services to the public,” he added.

He said that the encroachments at the public parks, markets and other parts of the city be removed immediately for convenience of the public. He called upon the general public and traders to cooperate with the authority in this regard.

He also directed the concerned departments in the authority to ensure efficient removal of garbage and raw construction material as well as proper trimming of the bushes along the roadsides on regular basis. He said that the footpaths along different roads of the city be properly maintained to facilitate the pedestrians and ensure smooth flow of traffic and avoid accidents.

Source: The News