It was in 2015 that the government took over 76 kanals of land from the army at Tattoo Ground in Batamaloo area, here. The land was to be utilized for establishing a Citizen Park. Three years down the line, the Park is nowhere in the sight.
The Citizens’ Park was one of the pet projects of former chief minister, late Mufti Muhammad Sayeed who had laid its foundation in 2015 after persuading the army to vacate 136 kanals, of which 76 kanals had been handed over to the state government.
“Post public announcement of developing the Citizen Park by late Mufti Sayeed, there has been no headway. Neither the funds have come nor the design for the park has been finalized,” said a senior JK tourism development corporation official.
On the site, apart from the foundation stone mentioning name of dignitaries, and some construction material, there is nothing which could substantiate that the land has been earmarked for construction of the Park.
The project was to be executed by the J&K tourism development corporation (JKTDC) “Government’s sluggish approach has put this project on the backburner,” said a tourism department official.
“Authorities are not showing any urgency to develop the Park,” he said.
Secretary Tourism, Sarmeed Hafeez said that the construction of the Park will be completed by the end of this year.
“We have done some construction work. Now we are awaiting finalisation of the designs so that the work is undertaken in full swing,” Hafeez said.
Jammu and Kashmir government had been asking the army to vacate 1,000 kanals of the prime land at Tattoo Ground. In 2015, after a civil-military liaison conference chaired by then late Mufti Sayeed, the army had agreed to vacate 136 kanals.
The park would be jointly used by the public and the army men. Officials said it was for the first time that the army had agreed to part with a chunk of land for development of the Citizens’ Park.