ISLAMABAD - It’s been two months since the tourists from across the country visiting Rose and Jasmine Garden having plans to visit the leafy federal capital riding a mini tourist train - launched by the Capital Development Authority back in the mid of year 2011 - are yearning to ride this amusing delight which is yet to be fixed.

It was on July 30, 2011 - approximately eight months ago - when the than Chairman of the Authority while riding the train’s maiden drive had proudly informed the media onboard that the facility would further be upgraded besides sharing the plan of launching of double-decker tourist bus service.

However, the incumbent visionless city managers, most of them the political appointees, are seemingly least interested to even continue with this service, while launching of the double-decker service is a distinct dream.

“The train is parked somewhere in Lake View Park. Two months ago it was gone non-functional.

The damaged part of the train’s engine is not available in local auto markets. Don’t know when the train will resume its journey,” responding to several questions of this scribe, two CDA employees, who were present in the ticket cabin inside Rose and Jasmine Garden said while smoking marijuana. CDA has launched the mini-train with an investment of Rs36 million. The facility lasted only for six months and during this period visitors continue to express annoyance over the uncomfortable seats and absence of promised facilities.

As per the announced schedule of the train it was supposed to run on daily basis and weekends on the approved routes with a speed of 20 to 25 kilometers per hour covering several landmarks of the city including Kashmir Highway, National Monument, Zero Point, Faisal Mosque, Zoo, Japanese Park (stop-over for 30 minutes), Said Pur Village, Jinnah Super Market, 7th Avenue and Fatima Jinnah Park(F-9 Park).

The fare of the train for adults was Rs200 and for children Rs150 with special concession for the persons with disabilities.  CDA at the time of launching this service had promised that tourists would enjoy instrumental music and a well-versed tourist guide will provide information to the tourists during the journey both in Urdu and English languages.

The tourist package also included refreshments during the stopover at Japanese Park besides street performances and photo shoot at mid point with on board quiz for children at the end of journey about the capital city and tourist sites so as to enhance the knowledge of children. Tourists were also pledged that CDA would also establish special stalls where tourists would be able to buy key chains, t-shirts, ball points, caps and cups etc.

But the aforementioned promises turned into a mere lip service, as tourists were never provided with such facilities. However, even in the absence of these promised facilities children who least take care about such things were happy with the service.

The project met the same fate as several other costly projects meant for general public and tourists amusement.

CDA Spokesperson Ramzan Sajid while taking to TheNation claimed that train was not completely non-functional. “Sometimes it runs, sometimes because of mechanical problems it went dysfunctional,” he added.

He said that a major part of the engine was out of order for past two months and it is not available in local markets.

He said soon train would be on road after it overhauling and fixing of issues.