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50-yr-old park gets new look

People of all age-groups can be seen enjoying themselves on the 50-year-old Kamla Nehru Park in the city. As one walks down the park, one comes across trees of different types, walking tracks and fountains.

india Updated: Jun 18, 2011 01:24 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

People of all age-groups can be seen enjoying themselves on the 50-year-old Kamla Nehru Park in the city. As one walks down the park, one comes across trees of different types, walking tracks and fountains.

In one corner, senior citizens can be seen playing cards, while in another, men can be seen chatting over the upcoming mayor’s elections. In the centre of the park, there is a shed where yoga classes are conducted every morning.

“In the early 1980s, the park used to be a dumping ground for Old Gurgaon and we used to go to the gurdwara on the other side of the road to fetch water. There was no water or electricity here. Drug addicts and gamblers had made this place their den,” said Bhawar Singh, alias Fauji, who has been the park’s caretaker for the past 19 years.

He added, “Things changed after 2005, when walking track was laid and trees were planted.”

Until 1980, its open-air theatre was the biggest draw. “As a child, I have seen fights between King Kong and Dara Singh in the open-air theatre. But everything stopped in 1975-80. It was only after 2005, that we pooled money to revamp the heritage of Old Gurgaon. But the open-air theatre still needs renovation,” said JN Mangla, president, Kamla Nehru Sudhar Samiti.

BR Lall, former director general of police and a resident of Gurgaon, said, “We used to enjoy theatre performances in the park, but not anymore. There is no place in the city where any meaningful cultural activity is organised."

As one walks out, one find pits for rain water system being dug, so that the water doesn't stop in the green garden, else it might spoil the grass.

When enquired about the fountains, which were not functional, the caretaker asked the workers there to start it. Water sprang up within a few seconds, thus drawing people around its circular wall.

Meanwhile, on Friday, a group of factory workers was talking about the recently-ended strike of Maruti factory workers under the park’s shed.

A passers by says that he is a policeman in plain clothes. He is here to keep an eye on the meeting of the union leaders. Police surveillance is a common sight in this park.

First Published: Jun 18, 2011 01:22 IST