Apathy towards Jammu gardens

Economists believe to make the best use of scarce resources. Land is limited in supply while demand for it has always remained unlimited. Commercialising of land or putting it to such a use that quick and substantial returns are assured is now an accepted practice. This fundamental principle of commerce is having its writ large, generally speaking in the Government as well as in the public in the sense very little portion of available land is put to gardening and developing of gardens. Jammu city and adjoining areas are reeling under non developing of existing gardens, not to speak of creating more. Weather conditions to some extent play a crucial role in growing and developing of gardens and maintaining them in comparison to the ones situated in favourable weather conditions.While Jammu city is expanding fast, more and more buildings are coming up, vehicular traffic is tremendously increasing, pressure on existing available land is mounting which all are limiting the scope of developing of new gardens though the need thereof is equally increasing.
In the core city of Jammu, not to speak of there being beautiful gardens with seasonal flowers and trees and well maintained and in attractive condition but no efforts are made to convert small chunks of available land into gardens. It is not the question of constraints of resources, the absence of which would have made it practically possible but the mindset of those who could manage to do it even in trying circumstances.Those gardens which are existing for long, though a very few, too are in abject neglect and that concerns none in the Government, perhaps equally none among the public. Take the case of small parks in the city developed for facilitating morning walkers, though they can be counted on fingers, yet they do not have lawns although the scope for developing ones can be seen in many such parks . Most of them are littered, unclean and have no other basic arrangements.
We have famous Bahu Fort garden or Bagh-e- Bahu which oversees the city from a slight height, is of historical importance and constitutes our heritage. There is enough scope for its beautification and development, to punctuate it with trees to keep it cool during hot sunny summers but the status of even some of the basics of it are indicative of how no one in the administration cares for replacing its dilapidated infrastructure, broken tiles, dry fountains, stale smelling water, liquor bottles and other waste material littered at most of the places. Since a temple of repute and great devotion is adjacent to it as also the famous Bahu Fort, people in large numbers are thronging the heritage point which calls for the garden demanding added attention and care.
We have Mubarak Mandi or Darbargarh garden which had been favourite spot for Jammu residents till some years ago but demolishing of structures and other works around, the area has become a dumping ground for the discarded things and the dilapidated and worn out infrastructure gives it a repellent look. Defunct fountains and the adjacent water tank is full of stale and stinking waterwhich is home to breeding mosquitoes. Children used to play in the evening being their favourite spot are nowhere to be seen due to absence of the basic facilities.
Take the case of Rani Park in the heart of city, less said the better. Entry to this park is virtually barricaded by the hawkers and vendors and the official neglect and rough use has made it turned into just an ordinary useless place. Added to all the woes of this ‘garden’ is the surrounding noise, smoke and dust which makes it at best a place of gossips and idling. Peer Khoh Park, a part of Jammu cable car project just within a few months of its inauguration has been reduced into a saga of under maintenance and underdevelopment.PuraniMandi Park situated in an area of busiest and the most crowded place is almost lost in the oblivion.
Fast life and fast materialistic progress are not matched with the availability of reasonably sufficient number of gardens, lawns and parks in Jammu but the existing ones should be properly developed, maintained and beautified. We, in our high traditions, have been giving lot of importance even up to the levels of religiously respecting flora, fauna, trees and greenery only with an aim to accord credibility to their tremendous utility for human beings. Let us live up to those rich traditions.