Burlton Park, one of the oldest and largest parks in the city, has lost its sheen due to the stepmotherly attitude of the municipal corporation (MC) for many years and has turned into a space covered with weeds and bushes.
As per the proposal of MC Jalandhar, out of the total 61.5 acres area of the park, around 26 acres was to be used for a cricket ground, nine acres for hockey, 2.5 acres for a swimming pool and some area was meant for the construction of a hostel. The remaining area was to be maintained as a recreation ground.
However, a visit to the park speaks volumes about the lack of development here which has reduced the open space to wilderness. Missing lights, broken benches, rusted swings and dry trees stand as lone figures to welcome the few visitors who come for their morning and evening walks.
Most of the residents who live in the vicinity of the park prefer to stay at home rather than visit the park as they feel unsafe. The pavements in the park are broken but even after repeated pleas by the residents to the municipal corporation, it has failed to take action.
The area is strewn with plastic waste and wrappers as no cleanliness drive is carried out by the MC. The chains of the swings and top rods of other recreational items are missing, as a result of which children prefer to give the park a miss. Even the fences meant to protect the premises of the park are damaged.
When contacted, Manpreet Singh Chattwal, MC commissioner said, "We will improve the condition of the park at the earliest. I have got complaints about the wild growth in the park and soon I will inform the horticulture department to assign gardeners for maintaining the park. The repair work in the park will be done soon and maintenance will be taken care of."
Jarnail Singh, a resident said, "In foreign countries, both the government and residents take equal efforts to maintain the parks. Even if the park is well maintained, they put in hard work to keep it in that condition. However, in India, no one bothers to keep the parks well maintained.
Somnath, a visitor at the park said, "Earlier, ten gardeners were assigned the duty to keep the park in shape, but nowadays they are nowhere to be seen. As a result of this neglect meted out by both the authorities and the employees, the park is now covered with wild bushes making it inconvenient for the people to use it."
Charan Das, a resident said, "Besides the bad condition of the park, the pavements constructed for the convenience of the people are in a shambles. Now the residents in the locality avoid visiting the park and with time the condition of the park is going from bad to worse."
Manpreet Singh Chattwal, Commissioner MC Jalandhar: "We will improve the condition of the park at the earliest. I have got complaints about the wild over growth in the park; soon I will inform the horticulture department to assign gardeners for maintaining the park. The repair work in the park will be done soon and maintenance will be done."
Locality: Burlton Park, Near Workshop Chowk
Size of park: Approx. 23 acre
Facilities: Path for walking, playground, swings for children
Name of maintenance agency: Municipal Corporation Jalandhar