Inspection of machinery, equipment done, awaiting nod from top brass: Floriculture officer
By: Ahmad Shabir
Anantnag: As the tourist footfall records increase in Jammu and Kashmir, the visitors, who throng the picturesque Pahalgam in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district return disappointed as the famous amusement park, continue to remain closed for the guests.
Pertinently, the amusement park Pahalgam was handed over to the floriculture department along with many other parks last year.
The closure of the famous park, which used to generate huge revenue for the state has not only disappointed the tourists visiting the famed spot but has affected the livelihood of many locals, who used to setup stalls outside the park.
The Lidder view amusement park until May last year was being operated by the Jammu and Kashmir Bank and was later handed over to Floriculture department for operation.
Despite the tourist spot witnessing record tourist footfall for last one month, first time in last several years, the park continues to remain shut.
Locals who spoke to Precious Kashmir said that the floriculture department nearly a year after taking over the park has not opened it for public, which is highly ironical.
“For the last nine months since the department took over the park, we have been demanding reopening of the amusement park but they seem to have forgotten it,” said a local, Zubair Ahmad.
Another local, Arif Ahmad said that the park would generate huge revenue for the state but one wonders why the same has been shut.
“After Betab valley, the amusement park used to be most visited site in Pahalgam. Pahalgam for the last one month has been receiving huge tourist footfall but the visitors on reaching near the amusement park return dejected after finding it locked,” Ahmad said.
Besides, he said, the closure of park has affected livelihood of many locals, who used to set up stalls outside.
“Closing the park is tantamount to snatching of livelihood of dozens of families. We appeal the Lieutenant Governor to look into the matter and get the park opened,” he said.
Floriculture Officer, Pahalgam, Asif Ahmad said that they are awaiting the nod from the top officials with regard to opening the park.
“We are almost done with everything like inspection and repair of equipments and machinery. Now, we are waiting for the approval from top authorities. Once we get the nod, we will look for some operating agency and lease it out,” the officer said.