Drying Rawal Lake affects boating business

ISLAMABAD: The beauty of Lake View Park becomes tainted as Rawal Lake dries up. People cannot recall when was the last time they saw the lake turn into a parched ground.

The worst affected are people offering boat rides to visitors at Lake View Park. Dozens of boats are seen grounded where people used to queue up for a ride.

The prolonged dry season and lack of rains has turned the water reservoir into a dustbowl bringing unemployment for the boatmen. “For the past two months our boats are moored to the earth with no water in the reservoir,” said a man who took people on a rowing trip in the lake.

Diminishing turnout

With the main attraction of lake gone, the number of people coming to the Lake View Park has dropped.

The decline in visitors has however improved the cleanliness in the area, “less people, less trash,” said an official at the park.

He said that the cleanliness and security arrangements at the park have improved over time but allotment of space for a food court is still pending due to which providing a dining facility for tourists under one roof has yet to be accomplished.

Man stabbed to death near Rawal Lake

Shuttle service vehicles transporting tourists within the park have also become dysfunctional and are in need of repair so that more facilities can be provided to tourists. On several occasions brawls have broken out and harassment of women have also been recurring issues at the park.  However, security authorities have made considerable arrangements to address these concerns

Security authorities say that six cameras are installed in the park out of which two are safe city project cameras which monitor the movements of every visitor coming to the park. Due to the recurring issue of fights and sexual harassment security staff is usually in place to solve the matter, if their initial attempts to resolve the matter do not work, 15 is called and a request for police intervention is made

Moreover, information available to Express News suggests that 15,000 people on Friday and on weekends and any given holiday in the capital more than 20,000 people visit the park on a daily basis.

An Express News survey has revealed that in summers, Rawal Lake serves as a haven for Islamabad locals.

For entertainment in Rawal Lake Park, Advocate Azmat AK Khattak, Raaz Ali Shah, Latif Ali Khan and other tourists talking to Express News said that the administration in park collectively is better; only the drying up of Rawal Lake has dimmed the park’s beauty, the tourists are hopeful that if it rains heavily in a few days the lake will get be inundated.

Wetlands day marked by ignoring dirty Rawal Lake

Despite extreme temperatures, locals feel relieved and entertained at such spots. Rather than spending the weekend at home, going out relieves the weeks’ stress. Regular visits to the park exemplify the enthusiasm of women, children and young adults. There is a need to improve the cleanliness system at birds’ place in Lake View Park.

Rawal Lake dried up around Eidul Fitr, Rawalpindi Cantonment Board looks after the Rawal Lake administration.

There is one filtration plant installed in Lake View Park. More than 20 kiosks and canteens are present. It has been told in this regard that the price list of these cabins is issued by the CDA and they’re regularly checked as well so that no one is able to sell products at a higher cost.

Regarding the dysfunctional shuttles, officials said that these would be sent for repair and when they come back, the remaining would be sent to the workshop.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 19th, 2018.

IHC also seeks details of illegal activities, encroachments near the lake

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    Original news : https://tribune.com.pk/story/1761394/1-drying-rawal-lake-affects-boating-business/