Pahalgam: Over a year on floriculture dept fails to open Lidder view amusement park

Closure of park leaves visitors disappointed, affects livelihood of many, FO says 'awaiting the nod from top'

Closure of park leaves visitors disappointed, affects livelihood of many, FO says 'awaiting the nod from top'

Anantnag, May 27 (KNS) : More than a year after the government handed over the Lidder view amusement park Pahalgam to the floriculture department, the tourists and locals continue await opening of the park.
The continuous closure of the park which used to generate huge revenue for the state not only leaves the tourists disappointed but has affected the livelihood of many locals who used to setup stalls there.

The Lidder view amusement park untill April last year was being operated by the Jammu and Kashmir bank. The park was later handed over to floriculture department for operation.

Despite the tourist spot witnessing record tourist footfall this season, first time in last  several years of uncertainty and Covid restrictions, the park continues to remain shut.

Locals who spoke to Kashmir News Service (KNS), said that the floriculture department even a year after taking over the park has bitterly  failed to open it for public. 

"Since the park was taken over by the department we have been demanding it to be thrown open but the authorities seem to have forgotten it," said a local. 

Constructed at the estimated cost of 3.20 by the former chief minister ,late Mufti Mohd Syed as his dream project, the park has many fun games including swings , pedal boats in artificial pond, bull fight and car racing. 

An official who wished to remain anonymous said that the park would generate huge revenue for the state but one wonders why the same has been shut.

"When the tourist footfall used to be low or moderate the park would generate around sixty to seventy thousand rupees in the season. Going by this year's record tourist rush it would earn the revenue in crores of thrown open even at this point of time," the official said.

Many tourists speaking to Kashmir News Service (KNS) said that they had to return dejected after finding the park locked. 

The closure of park, according to locals has also affected livelihood of many people who used to set up stalls outside.

"Closing the park has meant snatching the livelihood of dozens of families. We appeal the honorable governor to look into the matter and get the park opened," locals said.

Floriculture officer , Pahalgam, Asif Ahmad said that they have got all the machinery and equipments inspected and repaired and are ready to throw it open any time.

He, however , said that they don't have technical team available to run the machinery. 

"We have written to the directorate many times but there has been no response from their side. Unless there is a go ahead from the directorate we can not hire the technical team or outsource it," the officer said.

He also admitted that the park this season would have generated record revenue given the tourist rush.(KNS)

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