Islamabad: New face of F-9 Park – a breath of fresh air

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By Imran Naeem Ahmad

ISLAMABAD: It may not be the Hyde Park that the elite so often refer to, yet one of Islamabad’s parks is coming up beautifully – a picture of creativity at its best.

The sprawling Fatima Jinnah Park in F-9 is today a sight for sore eyes although only one section spanning 40 acres has been developed so far.

Lush green lawns and flowerbeds greet visitors with the winding walkways and ponds making a stroll in the park come as a breath of fresh air. The intelligently done lighting along the paths adds to the ambience as do the benches that complement well with nature.

This section of the park has indeed come a long way since the days when it used to be barren tract of land. There was not much greenery, no flowers and no proper lighting.

Today sprinklers water the lawns and poetry pools stand out, as does a sitting area that serves more as a viewpoint. In a pond nearby, the croaks of frogs fill the evening air.

A complete children’s zone is one of the newest additions with rides that are the first of their kind in Pakistan. No wonder the parents are impressed and the kids excited.

“I haven’t seen anything like this before, this zone has been so tastefully developed,” remarked Ali Javed, a father of two. “I am particularly amazed by the thoughtfulness of the authorities for laying out matting to avoid kids getting hurt,” he said.

The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has quite a few plans chalked out as it goes about developing another 200 acres of the park.

Dr Faisal Awan, Director at CDA’s Project Management Office told Daily Times on Sunday that a central square running alongside the existing cricket ground is to be established. “This will be the place where exhibitions and fares could take place,” he said.

While the park’s landscaping and other work is on in a big way, the authorities also intend to set up a few ‘old’ bookshops in a bid to revive the trend. “We had so many such shops but most of them have disappeared with time,” Dr Awan said.

But the CDA, respecting the park’s sanctity is seemingly treading cautiously in developing it to avoid any backlash just as it had to face after giving the go-ahead to an international food chain to establish its outlet.

Responding to people’s needs, the city fathers would have hawkers going around selling juice, water and stuff while also setting up small kiosks along the jogging tracks.

A citizen’s club is also to come up. “It would be a better version of the Islamabad Club which is to be built by CDA but would be run by a management committee,” Dr Awan said.

Similarly, as part of park’s development the cricket ground is being improved as are the tennis courts. Clearly, the park is being transformed in a manner that even the minutest of details are being taken into account. Once complete this facility promises to be the stuff from the top drawer.

Source: Daily Times, 1/9/2008


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