Poor Upkeep, Baradari garden needs fast fix

BGDespite repeated instructions from Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to ensure proper upkeep of the historic Baradari garden, the place is in a mess, courtesy apathetic attitude of the local administration.

Notably, in January 2006 the then Amarinder Singh government had formed Patiala Development Authority (PDA), which, in turn, set up a society for the maintenance of the garden with DC as its chairman. Later, concerted efforts were made to resurrect the original old-world look and beauty of the place. An old-styled boundary wall was created, fountains were replaced, new lights were installed and irrigation system was put in order at a whopping cost of Rs 5-6 crores. Besides, Rs 14 lakh, given by the then Rajya Sabha MP Barjinder Singh, was also utilised for sprucing up the place.

But, the newly acquired charm of the garden eclipsed within a year with accumulation of garbage and non-functioning of canal-based irrigation system and fountains, irking environmentalists, morning-walkers and nature lovers.

Acting on a story carried by The Tribune, Badal had instructed the top administration officials to improve the condition of the garden. Unfortunately, nothing – not even the state head’s orders – seem to have been working, as the garden is deteriorating with each passing day.

Nature lovers, led by the Patiala Social Welfare Society, have approached divisional commissioner Jasbir Singh Bir with a demand that concrete steps should be taken to preserve the garden. The society has also urged the commissioner to instruct the district administration for opening of the garden’s main gate, which has been closed for construction of a heritage hotel in front of the gardens. The hotel authorities have even closed the main road between the garden and the hotel.

“The irrigation system is out of order, as a result several trees have dried up. How can the administration adopt such an indifference towards a place of historical importance,” rued society patron Ujjagar Singh.

In absence of any vigil, the place has also become a favourite haunt of drug addicts and anti-social elements.

Divisional commissioner Jasbir Singh Bir assured that no effort would be spared in redeeming of beauty of the garden and providing more facilities for visitors. The commissioner has also directed the deputy commissioner to talk to sub-committee members to seek their opinion and involve them in the proposed garden improvement exercises.

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