Pampore Public Park craves restoration, library building occupied by criminals

PAMPORE: A park named after Lalla Arifa in her native town Pampore in south Kashmir has been left unattended in a dilapidated condition after floods devastated it in September 2014. The local Municipal Committee responsible for the upkeep of the recreational facility is now contemplating to raise a community hall in the area.
Locals said the park has become an abode of the unscrupulous elements in the town and most of the people living in its vicinity have turned it into a dumping ground of waste and discard.
The sprawling park established over an area of 10 kanals of land in the vicinity of a famous shrine also houses a building that was poised to house a public library. However, the park was devastated only two years after it had been dedicated to the people living in the congested town.
Locals said that after the floods, the municipal committee completely left the park enclave leaving room for the vested interests to use it for their own purposes.
“Some vested interest began using the park as a dumping ground. This is because the municipal committee paid no heed to the restoration of the park,” Abid Azad, a resident told.
“The place has now become a hub of drug addicts. The anti-social elements find the place safe for their activities,” said Tariq Ahmad adding that the building inside the park has been occupied by these anti-social elements.
Executive Officer Municipal Committee Pampore Imtiyaz Ahmad said that the 2014 floods completely devastated the park and then some miscreants looted the fixtures from the park enclave. “The iron grill and fittings of the fountain have been stolen,” Ahmad said.
The proposal to turn the park into a community hall is under consideration and I have deliberated the same to the deputy commissioner Pulwama and local legislator Zahoor Ahmad Mir, who is also minister of state in the council of ministers, he said.