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CDA scales down Park Zone project May 3, 2008

Posted by lollywoodhungama in Uncategorized.
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ISLAMABAD: After months of consideration, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) has finally decided to reduce the scope of converting the Shakarparian Hills and the adjoining facilities into a Park Zone.

Malik Abid, CDA’s Director Parks, told Daily Times on Thursday that the earlier plan of inter-connecting all of the attractions in the vicinity of the Hills had now been changed. “We have scaled down the project because of the construction of a Cultural Complex there,” he said.

The city fathers announced last August plans of connecting the Shakarparian tourist resort with the Pakistan Monument, Rose and Jasmine Garden, Lotus Lake, Open Air Theatre, Lok Virsa Museum and the Arts and Crafts Village that is under construction.

The aim was to facilitate people and enable them to visit all of the spots in one go. The project’s hub initially would have been the Lotus Lake. But Malik pointed out that the revised plan would now cover only five facilities.

The facilities to be linked now would be the Shakarparian Hills, Pakistan Monument, Open Air Theatre, Rose and Jasmine Garden and the Arts and Crafts Village. “The PC-1 for the project is ready and work would start in due course,” Malik said.

The project will see Shakarparian, one of the oldest tourists attractions in town, being up-graded and new viewpoints added along with a host of new features. “We intend to make the road that leads up to the resort more welcoming,” said the official.

The CDA will be working on developing both the upper and lower ridges of the hills and has tasked Arif Masud, the man who also designed the Pakistan Monument, to do the designing. A host of flaws exist in the park’s original design however it has been a must-see for foreign heads of state visiting Islamabad who have planted saplings in a specially designated section of the park.

All the saplings planted over the years have been well protected and are one of the key attractions for the visitors to the park that has also served as a favourite filming stage for Lollywood in yesteryears.

A short distance away from the Hills, the Rose and Jasmine Garden is fast being renovated and its first phase has now virtually been completed. “The main entrance has to be made and some small jobs here and there still remain,” said Malik. The area of the garden, among the town’s older facilities, had been expanded from 30 to about 70 acres now, the official said. The authorities have planted 650 varieties of roses with the total number of plants said to be 35,000. “The CDA plans to import quite a few varieties of jasmine, most probably from Florida, for the park,” Malik said.

During the last three years, the CDA has renovated and up-graded as many as 140 out of Islamabad’s 174 parks. “We are also working on developing 20 new play areas for children in different localities,” he said.

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