By Nauman Tasleem
LAHORE: The Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) is neglecting hundreds of small parks in different parts of the city.
The authority has been focusing on 600 parks, including a few main public places, while ignoring the remaining 400 situated in different localities of the city. The PHA was established in 1998 with the objective of making the city “clean and beautiful”. The authority works on the parks and grounds of housing schemes approved by the Lahore Development Authority (LDA). The PHA is neglecting a little under half of around 1,000 parks in the city, leaving most of them in an abysmal state.
A former PHA director said the authority had more than 3,000 gardeners on its payroll, adding that the number was not enough to cater to look after all of the city’s parks. Residents complain that they have never seen the PHA doing anything to maintain the parks in many parts of Gulberg, Muslim Town, Garden Town, Faisal Town, Township, Johar Town, WAPDA Town, Allama Iqbal Town and Wahdat Colony. “We have been living in Township C-1 sector for the last 12 years and never have we seen the PHA doing anything to maintain the grounds here,” said Umar Farooqi, a resident.
In Iqbal Town, only the 66-acre Gulshan-e-Iqbal park is given any attention, with smaller parks in the area being completely ignored. Horticulture South Director Akhter Chaudhry said the authority was committed to making the city beautiful, adding they often had to deal with a shortage of manpower. Chief Minister’s Task Force on PHA Chairman Mohsin Latif did not attend his phone despite numerous attempts to get his comments.