ISLAMABAD: Shakarparian, a popular picnic spot in the federal capital, is gradually losing its charm because of negligence of the city managers. With unkempt green belts, dried up flowers and low maintenance, people are seen shifting to other more exciting options for recreation.
Roshan Bibi, who was visiting Shakarparian after a year, said: “This place has lost its attraction. I used to come here a lot previously with my family but now we prefer other places.”
“CDA should provide recreational facilities, maintain the green belts and flower beds and try to beautify it, in order to bring visitors back to this place,” she said.
Bilal Hakeem, an environmentalist, presented a different outlook on the issue and said that the loss of vegetation cover in the Shakarparian region was also contributing to the fading beauty of the site. “A lot of construction has been going on in the area and with the lack of preservation in the surroundings, this place is not as eye-catching as it used to be,” he said.
He added that the construction work on Zero Point Interchange was also tampering with its beauty. “Loss of trees has been huge. Other factors are link roads being laid out nearby and heavy construction,” he said.
Moreover, the erection of the Pakistan Monument and the resounding success of Lake View Park have also contributed to the deteriorating popularity of older sites. Ali, a resident of Islamabad, said: “Why would people go to Shakarparian when they have Lake View Park which offers so many activities like cod bikes, swings and boating?”
However, a CDA official thought that Shakarparian was still an attractive place. “The number of visitors might have decreased in comparison to these new places but it can be improved,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 4th, 2010.