Written by Piyush Sarna
There is nothing celebratory about the Silver Jubilee Park in Sector 5, Panchkula. The trees have not been pruned, the grass is overgrown and the pathway for daily walkers is broken. There is no sign of flowers, even though it is spring.
What you do find in abundance are puddles after a day’s downpour. Lately, the morning walkers are facing another issue — the paved walkway was dug up to lay the wiring for a light and sound system a fortnight ago. Though it has been filled up, it is yet to be levelled or cemented and everytime it rains, the wet soil creates a mess.
Vivek Bhatnagar, a resident of Panchkula, who often comes here for a walk, told Chandigarh Newsline, “Senior citizens have been having a tough time ever since they dug up the pathway. It has become difficult to manoeuvre the park.’’ Col K S Dhami (retd), a veteran mountaineer, said it was a shame that a city which once aspired to be the Paris of India, could not even maintain a park well.
Though the park takes its name from the silver jubilee monument marking 25 years of Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), it lies broken for the past seven years and the authorities are yet to get it repaired. The HUDA, on its part, has outsourced the maintenance of the eight-acre park to a private company, Balaji Associates.
The contractor of the company, Raj Kumar Sharma, told officials that he is given Rs 35,000 a month for the maintenance with the help of five workers. ‘’I do my best to keep the park clean and green, but I can’t combat the march of nature, what can I do about the unwanted growth of grass and accumulation of water?,” he asks.