Dilkusha Bagh: the lost glory.
Byline: Rana Aamir Aslam
Once a sprawling ground for Basra date palm trees, the Dilkusha Bagh, constructed right between the trade route of Indus River by Mughal Emperor Jehangir's daughter Mehr-o-Nisa, is a shadow of its former self.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Deputy Commissioner Captain (retd) Waqas Rasheed said no new tree has been planted in the historical garden for the last 50 years. 'We intend to plant 200 fruit trees to generate revenue from the garden,' he said. The DC said the district administration has sought the help of agricultural experts to protect the palm garden and to increase date production. The garden is spread over an area of 672 kanals and has 1,700 Basra date palm trees in the garden. These dates are famous for their distinct taste. Over a period of time, the production of the Basra date has decreased due to lack of care of the garden.
During the auction held by the district government, the crop of dates was sold to the highest bidder against Rs970,000. The crop is ready and the harvesting will start any time soon. These dates are also sent to the major cities of the country as well as abroad.
Dilkusha Garden is a major attraction for citizens. The condition of the garden has deteriorated over the years due to the apathy of the local administration. Swings installed for children are rusting away and walking tracks lie in a dilapidated state. Once there was a throne in the garden which has now transformed into a mound of sand. The fountains are also in shambles.