Children wait endlessly for opening of kids’ play area in F-9 Park

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Zubair Qureshi

After Islamabad reported the lowest Covid-19 positivity i.e. 0.65 percent during the last week, normalcy has returned to the city and one can see booming business in markets, full attendance in offices and schools, etc. Likewise, sports activities are also in full swing and parks and playgrounds are back to life.

However, the state-of-the-art kids’ play area in Fatima Jinnah Park (F-9 Park) remains closed despite all these positive signals and the twin cities’ children have been waiting for it to reopen for almost two years. The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has also turned a deaf ear, it seems, to their requests, and daily one can see a large number of disappointed and dejected kids returning to their homes after finding the gate of the kids’ fun area closed.

Kids Play Area in the F-9 near the Gate No.3 opposite PAF Hospital remains closed and the park admin first closed it on the pretext of Covid-19 and now they have attributed its closure to maintenance work and upgrading of the panels for children.

The federal capital, according to District Health Officer (DHO) Dr Zaeem Zia, had recorded 0.65 percent coronavirus positivity rate last week as only 65 persons tested positive throughout the week.

This was the lowest weekly ratio not only in the current (5th) wave but also since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020. Before that, the positivity was 0.81pc with 72 cases reported. In the first week of March, the positivity was 1.39pc and there were 328 cases reported. In the first week of February, 4,864 cases were reported with a positivity rate of 10.26pc.

Despite these good signs, grown up and elderly citizens are enjoying this relief from Covid-19 restrictions by having a brisk walk, children have to face ban despite the fact the spring is in the air and evenings are beautiful.

The area with state-of-the-art facilities, jumping castles, cradles, merry-go-round and fun areas offers plenty of joy for the kids and their families too feel distracted from the daily routine. It is also a good source of income for the park but the Capital Development Authority’s (CDA) typical mindset and indifference are the main hurdles in the way of the children’s fun.“We have come from Gojar Khan hoping our children will be able to spend quality time at the Kids Play Area and we too will enjoy but here we are told it is closed,” said Asghar who had come along with his wife and six children.

They are crying and asking why this area is closed when the whole park is open and why children are not being allowed to play and enjoy, said Asghar’s wife.

An official of the park when contacted by Pakistan Observer said the Kids’ Play area will most probably reopen by Eid-al-Fitr. “We have expedited the maintenance work and the contractor is also installing more panels in order to enhance the number of existing facilities,” he said.

 

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