Sakkatri Bagh, which till a few months ago was a haunt of encroachers and shady elements, is likely to be thrown open to the public as a recreational spot soon with the work on the development of this park is likely to be completed by mid-November. The fact came to the fore during the visit of a team of experts from Chandigarh, who had come to examine the work being undertaken there.
Meanwhile, the NGO Mission Aagaaz, while welcoming the development of the park, has urged the MC to ensure that it does not hurt the natural environment of the park. Deepak Babbar, Secretary, Mission Aagaaz, said that the MC should ensure that the park is not converted into a mass of concrete.
“If at all they have to beautify it with tiles, let these be the ones that are permeable so that rain water can be absorbed into the ground,” he said. He added that care should be taken to ensure that the natural wealth of the park is not hurt at all in the name of beautification.
Sources said that as of now the work on the development of the park, situated on Tarn Taran road, was going on at a slow pace. They added that a puddle of water could be seen at the site where Amritsar Municipal Corporation had dug a pit to construct a musical fountain. Sources further said that the MC deputed its workers to drain out the water that had accumulated their and the workers spent an entire day doing just that.
The MC officials, who accompanied the team of experts from Chandigarh to the site of the project, attributed the slow pace of the work to the monsoon season. The park had been in news a couple of months ago because of the MC’s proposal to hew trees situated inside it to accommodate a musical fountain worth Rs 1.5 crores there. The proposal was later shelved following vehement protests by residents and environment lovers in the city.
Government had allocated Rs 5 crores for the development of this park. According to sources, there was a proposal to classify the ‘Bagh’ into theme based parks including Japani Bagh, with a Japanese theme, ‘Rangdar’ (Colourful) Bagh, Picnic Spot, Maze Park, Mist Avenue and places for parking, shops and food stalls.
They added that the park would also include a children’s park, equipped with a toy train, besides a topiary park, waterfall and fountains at the entrance, rainwater harvesting system, sprinklers and underground irrigation system, and a new tubewell for irrigation.
Municipal Commissioner Dharampal Gupta said that the pace of the work was likely to pick up after the monsoons. “A majority of the work has already been completed, while the remaining is likely to be completed soon. The park is expected to be ready by mid-November,” he said.