Gamblers take over historic Shalimar Bagh
Once known as the most beautiful park in the city, Shalimar Bagh has now become a haven for gamblers due to the lack of maintenance by the Municipal Council of Kapurthala (MCK).chandigarh Updated: Sep 16, 2014 21:08 IST
Once known as the most beautiful park in the city, Shalimar Bagh has now become a haven for gamblers due to the lack of maintenance by the Municipal Council of Kapurthala (MCK).
The park, located in the prime location of the city and built in an area of more than 248 canals, is now in shambles since the last decade.
As per the information, Shalimar Bagh was an important landmark of the city during the 90s with a big swimming pool, rides for children and a fish pond, all of which are now lying abandoned.
Moreover, there was a musical fountain installed in the park which is now full of filth and has become non functional due to ill maintenance.
People living in the area said the park was also famous for the Basant fair during which cultural programmes were organised and popular singers were invited, but it has now been three years since the last fair was held.
The bagh also has a historical importance as Maharaja Jagatjit Singh used to stroll here and the tombs of the family members of the erstwhile rulers of Kapurthala are also erected in this bagh which has become a victim of MCK's apathy.
The cenotaph in Shalimar Bagh reflects the finest engraving in red sandstone, often seen in royal buildings of the Mughal period.
Shalimar Bagh, which was once the pride of the town, is now in such a dilapidated condition that residents have stopped using it. Thick shrubs and bushes have taken over the park, which may lead to diseases.
Sunil Walia, personal assistant to Maharaja Kapurthala Brigadier Sukhjit Singh, blamed the state government and district authorities for the miserable condition of the historic park.
"It was the most beautiful park but has now become a victim of apathy. Even I have written letters to the state government for the maintenance of historical buildings and parks but they have turned a blind eye towards preserving heritage," he said.
Locality- Shalimar Bagh, Amritsar road, Kapurthala.
Size of Park- 248 Canals (31 acres).
Facilities- Swimming Pool, fountains, swings and slides, walking Strip, fish pond, Tomb.
Name of Maintenance Agency- Municipal Council Kapurthala.
Paramjit Singh, Executive officer, MCK
"I recently got charge of the executive officer in the city and immediately after joining, I ordered the safai workers and gardeners to clean this historical garden and maintain it properly as it is the beauty of our city."
"I use to play in the park and ride the swings and slides but now when I go for jogging in the park and see the dilapidated condition, I feel sad thinking about the negligence of the authorities".
"The favourite place for children for amusement has now become a playground for elders for playing cards. Children are barely seen playing in the park due to filthy environment".
"One of the most beautiful parks has now turned into a place to dump garbage and authorities have taken a back seat for the cleanliness of this park. Children who come to play in this park have to play in the unhygienic environment".
First Published: Sep 16, 2014 21:07 IST