Children's parks turn criminals' den

Garden of anti-socials

Children's parks turn criminals' den

nowhere to go Parks are no longer children’s paradise in the Garden City. DH photo Till a couple of years ago, many play equipment made of fibre glass, such as slides and swings were installed in many parks, but now they are either broken or damaged, proving hazardous for the children. Children began to frequent the parks less and less. Criminals began filling the vacuum.

The Coles Park in the Ulsoor area presents a fitting example. It is one of the biggest parks, but none of the play equipment are intact. Frequent visitors say that the park is in a shambles for the last one-and-half years. The slides, curved slides, swings, seesaw and other equipment made of fibre glass are all broken. Children from weaker section come to the park, play with the broken play materials and many a time get injured.

Rajanna, a local resident said, "My daughter insists on playing in a park and this is the only good park in the vicinity. So I have to bring her here unwillingly. The slides, curved slides and swings are all broken. To avoid any untoward incident, I have to keep her under the watch constantly whenever we come to this park."

Park caretaker Tulasamma blamed criminal elements who frequently visit the park for damage caused to the play equipment.

Reluctant to repair

Displaying some sharp-edged weapons the park authorities had seized, Tulasamma said anti-social activities had become rampant, making the Palike reluctant to repair or replace the play material.

Chandrashekhar, superintendent of horticulture department (BBMP East Zone) said criminal elements were primarily responsible for the poor state of the park. He defended the quality of equipment purchased by the Palike.

Another park suffering from the official apathy is located in Poornapragna Layout where most of the play materials are mde of steel, ill-designed and are broken. Local residents said they had complained to the Palike authorities to replace these play materials as they posed danger to children, but none heeded their plea. This park too is a haven for criminals.

At the Bal Bhavan in Cubbon Park too, play equipment is either broken or ill-desig­ned. A major tragedy claiming the life of a child at Bal Bhavan inside Cubbon Park a couple of years ago does not seem to have been a wake-up call to the authorities.

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