Bag(h) of filth

Mango and amaltas trees dot this 13-acre belt that came into existence long before Independence.

Written by Express News Service | Ludhiana | Published:January 20, 2009 2:02 am

Mango and amaltas trees dot this 13-acre belt that came into existence long before Independence. Though a few trees have been added to the belt over the years,the charm of the place has certainly died down.

In 1999,in its bid to revive the park,the MC planted 300 saplings. A mini train for children and fountains were also added to give it a complete makeover. The next year,the park was handed to a private contractor. But as the trials did not suit the officials of MC,they took the charge of the park after two years.

For the past two years,the park is in private hands and the corporation is saving around Rs 30 lakh a month as it has helped in cutting expenses which include salaries of employees and other recurring expenditure. But over these years,the condition of the park has only deteriorated.

Daily walkers are a disappointed lot. Apart from a garden café,no major refurbishing is done. The contractor has not been able to resume the train service.

Rakh Bagh Contractor Yogesh Rai says,“We have spent around Rs 3.5 lakh to revive the train,but we have yet to receive a formal approval from the Railways.”

Manjinder,a teenager,says,“I used to throng the park along with my family just to take a ride in the train. The park now offers nothing in the name of amusement.”

Stinking toilets and non-functional swimming pool tell the sordid tale of official apathy.

Dr Anil Kapur,a regular walker says,“Rakh Bagh is just opposite the commissioner’s residence,but no one pays any heed to its maintenance. The place has lost all its sheen.”

The incapability of the contractor is evident from the fact that he was supposed to spend Rs 42 lakh on the park but not even half the amount is spent.

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