Public safety: Security to be upped across all public parks

Decision comes in the wake of Sunday’s dastardly attack


Our Correspondent March 29, 2016
Decision comes in the wake of Sunday’s dastardly attack. PHOTOS: ABID NAWAZ/EXPRESS

LAHORE: Following Sunday’s deadly attack in Gulshan-i-Iqbal, the government has decided to increase security across all major public parks.

Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) Director Mian Shakeel Ahmad told The Express Tribune that only two public parks in the provincial metropolis—Racecourse Park and Minto Park—had surveillance cameras installed. “Lahore is a city of gardens. There are over 800 public parks in the city. We cannot transform them into fortresses,” he said.

He emphasised that the authority always encouraged people to frequent public parks and promote healthy recreational activities. However, in the wake of the carnage, the PHA is planning to install CCTV cameras and walkthrough gates across major public parks, Ahmad said. He said the PHA had already equipped security officials across all public parks with metal detectors.

Earlier, Ahmad said, the PHA had installed surveillance equipment across Racecourse Park and Minto Park following security threats. Right now, the Greater Iqbal Park project is underway. The initiative has a comprehensive security component that will empower authorities to monitor each and every inch of the venue, Ahmad said. He said the authority was also consulting with local and provincial governments over the installation of surveillance equipment and barbed wire at boundary walls of major public parks. He said the authority had also approved the reconstruction of Gulshan-i-Iqbal Park’s outer wall.

Opposition parties on the other hand presented a bevy of condemnation resolutions in the Provincial Assembly. They strongly condemned the blast and killing of innocent people in Sunday’s carnage. The leader of the opposition in the Provincial Assembly, two Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) MPAs and one Pakistan Muslim League Quaid-i-Azam (PML-Q) lawmaker submitted the resolutions. They demanded the government ensure the people’s safety across all public venues including parks and recreation points.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 30th,  2016.

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