ISLAMABAD – The beauty once famous recreational spot, Lotus Lake, in the vicinity of Shakarparian Hills continues to wane due to the Capital Development Authority (CDA) Environment Directorate’s failure to implement their plan for the construction of the Park Complex. “Delay in the execution of the plan has not only destroyed Lotus Lake but also badly affected Shakarparian Hills which were also lined up to be upgraded under the plan,” a CDA official said.

A consultant was hired three years ago by the CDA for the renovation of Shakarparian Park and construction of Park Complex. The CDA plan included the expansion of the Shakarparian Park up to National Monument and Lotus Lake, and the beautification of two small mountains near the park, he said. “Lotuses floating over the clean glassy surface once drew visitors to the lake but now they are disappointed to find the pond dry. The beautiful walking tracks are damaged and the brick paving broken down, which has caused the number of visitors to dwindle further,” he said.

The official said the main objective of the project was to convert the area into an attractive recreational centre and under the said plan, the consultant was to prepare a design to interlink the recently-upgraded Rose and Jasmeen Garden, Art and Craft Village and National Monument with Shakarparian Hills to establish Park Complex. “On one hand, the CDA has failed to develop the Park Complex and on the other, they have not upgraded Shakarparian Park which offers one of the best views of Islamabad, due to which visitors to Shakarparian Park are decreasing day by day,” he said.

He said Shakarparian Park, being easily accessible, usually stood first in visitors’ itineraries. The main reason for the deterioration of Shakarparian and other parks in the city was that the CDA’s Environment Directorate was facing a shortage of skilled horticulture officers which hindered the execution of many environment-related projects and allowed the authority to pay attention to the maintenance and upgrading of only a few of the city’s parks, while those located in less-developed sectors of the city deteriorated day by day.