While the parks maintained by the municipal corporation are in precarious condition, locals take their guests to parks maintained by the army when they express their desire to visit famous Shimla Pahari Park, which was established before the Independence, to save their face.
Broken fountains filled with garbage and ill-kept garden is the picture that one come across while visiting the park. A few gamblers and groups of old persons playing cards is a common sight here. The broken see-saw and slider are injurious rather than pleasure.
It is learnt that the cash-strapped corporation somehow manages to pay the salaries of horticulture staff from funds released for the maintenance of theses parks and there is hardly left any money with the corporation for the maintenance and beautification of these parks.
The parks in Model Town and Mission Road are bearing the same fate. However, a park being constructed by the Pathankot Improvement Trust at Saili Road has brought fresh hope, but the project hanged fire midway in the absence of the chairman of the trust.
We prefer to visit Dhruv Park maintained by the Indian Army, says Manju, a local, adding that the park not only is well maintained, but we also feel secure due to proper enforcement of law and order.
I used to visit Shimla Pahari Park for its scenic beauty during my childhood, but now I prefer the army park, said Vishal Arora, a businessman.
He further said the corporation should hand over these parks private agency for maintenance.
When contacted, Pathankot district commissioner (DC) Siben C says the matter is under consideration and as soon as he gets some extra funds he will do his best possible to change the face of these parks.
The municipal corporation must hand over these parks to private agencies for their maintanence.
Vishal Arora, businessman
We hardly visit Shimla Pahari Park due to its precarious condition. Moreover, see-saw and other playing equipment are injurious to the children.
Naval Kishore, resident
I will do something as soon as I get the funds allocated for it.
Siben C, Pathankot DC