After two decades the government has finally given a go ahead to the much-awaited infrastructure upgrade and facelift of Bagh-e-Bahu, one of the biggest terraced gardens of the state.
Under the proposed Rs 6 crore project, entire water channels and fountains will be replaced which mostly remain non-functional and landscaping will be done by modern techniques. New eateries will also be opened. Officials said tenders had been invited and within next few weeks the work would start on the beautification project.
Bagh-e-Bahu is one of the popular sightseeing attractions of Jammu. The beautiful garden is comparable to the famous Mughal Gardens in Kashmir, but has faced continued neglect when it comes to infrastructure development.
“Focus is to fully utilise land, especially underdeveloped 35 kanals reclaimed at various points. It will be utilised to develop a fun zone. There is will be special lighting system with focus on using solar energy to lessen dependence on electricity,” said an official in the Floriculture Department.
Despite footfall of about 6 lakh visitors during 2018-19 and a revenue generation of 1.4 crore, the Bagh-e-Bahu has remained out of focus of the Tourism Department. Every proposal and project announced for the park has not been implemented. It has not witnessed much development for years.
Executive Engineer, Department of Floriculture, Kabir Hussain said. “We are planning to bring major changes in the garden to make it more attractive. The tendering process has been initiated and works will be allotted soon”.
Hussain said this was apart from other projects being implemented by the Tourism Department. “Our area of jurisdiction is the maintenance of park and we are making every plan to beautify it,” he said.
Officials said the ancient fort containing a temple dedicated to Goddess Kali overlooking the garden was also going to get a major facelift.