The Nawaz Sharif Park, once used to be the first choice of people living in Rawalpindi and its suburbs, to spend some pleasant moments with their children, now seems like a “waste land” due to the conditions prevailing in and outside it.

Situated on Murree Road, right opposite to the Arid Agriculture University and parallel to the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, the park was established in 1990 by the then Punjab chief minister, Nawaz Sharif.

Some portions of the park, where racing cars and swings for children were installed, give these days a deserted look. Children rarely visit the park, as the racing cars have been out of order since a long. “These racing cars could not be repaired because their spare parts are not available in Rawalpindi and Islamabad,” a worker associated with the company that manages the kids play portion of the park, said. The spare parts are only available in Karachi, he said, adding that the company was least bothered to spend a big chunk of money to repair the racing cars.

Similarly, other amusement equipment is also out of order due to the negligence of the park administration. Only the main swing set and kids train are operational. Installation of second hand swings, brought here from Karachi, is still pending.

Similarly, the whole track of the kids play areas is in dilapidated condition and construction of the track seems a hard task for the park. Interestingly, a small space has been earmarked for the mosque but not even a single brick has been cemented there.

There used to be an artificial canal with marble base and water would pass through it, but now this entire set-up is in shambles. During the visit one finds the water in it extremely polluted and fungus flowing on the surface destroying the colour and beauty of the white marble.

Though there is a canteen in the park, the condition of it is pathetic as “unhygienic” food is being sold here. The park remains open from morning to evening but the canteen facilitates the visitors only in the evening. The office of Union Council No 17 has also been constructed on the premises of the park without the permission of the tehsil government.

Talking to Daily Times, Sheikh Rashid Shafiq, the nazim of Rawal Town, said that the town government had not sufficient funds to maintain the park. He said the town government had spent Rs 2 million on the renovation and reconstruction of smaller parks situated in the different parts of the city. Due to the shortage of funds, the town government is trying to attract private sector to take control of these parks, he said. “We have contacted different private companies and banks and requested them to take control of the park but no one replied in positive, he maintained.

Regarding the construction of the office of the UC-17 in the park, Rshid Shafiq said that the town government had not allowed any Nazim to open his office there. Any office constructed in the park is illegal.
Source: Daily Times