Balaju park wears a deserted lookBalaju Baisdhara Park, one of the most popular leisure spots in the Capital, has been wearing a deserted look following the devastating April 25 earthquake.
Balaju Baisdhara Park, one of the most popular leisure spots in the Capital, has been wearing a deserted look following the devastating April 25 earthquake.
Even though Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) had allocated Rs 30 million for the renovation of the park, no work has been started five months after the quake.
The park has been losing Rs 1.2 million every month in revenues due to its sorry state, officials said. As the quake destroyed the swimming pool, its perimeter wall and other structures, the park has not been able to attract visitors as before. Following the quake, the park’s revenue has gone down almost two thirds, officials added.
The entry fee for the park is Rs 25 for regular people and Rs 15 for students. It charges Rs 3, 550 for holding a marriage ceremony and Rs 2,050 for picnics.
But since the park walls are in rubble, people have been entering without tickets. The quake has damaged 75 percent of the one-and-a-half km wall. However, neither have the authorities taken initiative in reconstructing the wall, nor has the wreckage of the damaged office within the park been cleared.
“We have repeatedly informed the chief of KMC, but nothing has been done,” said a park staff, Hari Prasad Paudel. He even complained of not having a proper place for the staff to work.
The park, which lies just under the canopy of the green lush forest of Rani Ban, was established in 1964. It is spread over 162 ropanis of land and is renowned for its swimming pool, picnic spot, marriage ceremony, sight seeing and a resting place.
The oldest swimming pool in the Valley is fully damaged. Officials had estimated to raise around seven million rupees from the pool this fiscal before the earthquake. Following the quake, the KMC had nonetheless announced to invest Rs 26 million to renovate the pool.
KMC officials blame ‘paperwork hassles’ for the delay in renovation works. “We will reconstruct the wall very soon,” said Rudra Singh Tamang, chief executive officer of KMC.