Kashmir's Famous Gardens Get A Facelift3 November 2010
Srinagar: After three months of curfews and strikes hitting Jammu and Kashmir, the state administration on Wednesday launched a massive facelift drive to beautify the region's famous gardens.As part of the drive, restoration and beautification works have already begun in some of the heritage gardens that were built by the Mughal emperors in medieval times. G. S. Naqash, Director of Floriculture, said that maintaining the gardens was a challenge due to the tense situation in the Kashmir Valley. 'This was a great challenge for us and it is still a challenge that we should maintain the gardens. The infrastructure that was available to us, we used that effectively and put our workers in action so that we should be able to preserve our heritage,' he added. Locals also complained that they had been disappointed in the ill-kept gardens. 'Due to the ongoing strikes and curfews since the past three-four months, the situation was worsening here, and it has affected the roads as well as the gardens of the region. We say that the kind of work they have started in Pratap Park, they should do the same in other parks as well, to bring back the beauty and essence of Kashmir,' said Altaf Ahmed. The number of gardeners has been doubled in all the gardens as the beautification drive gains momentum. A three-month-long spate of strikes, curfews and security lockdowns has kept the Kashmir Valley on the boil, shutting down much of a region.