Parks here choked with weeds, encroachers

Of all the public locations in Chikkaballapur, the most neglected are the City’s parks. But if poor weeding is a bad sign, thena bigger concern is a growing trend of encroachment at several of these places.

There are several parks in Papasandra Layout, behind the Shanimahatmaswamy temple, the Municipal Layout and other layouts. The parks are either square or rectangular in shape, but rarely present viewers with a favourable sight.

Instead of a well laid-out garden with plants and flowers, visitors to the parks here find overgrown shrubs and weeds, including parthenium. Water has also been found to stagnate in some of these parks, and trenches have been dug around some of the parks.

Encroachment has also been growing. Nowhere is this more apparent than at a public park set up by the City Municipal Council (CMC) a few years ago outside the private hospital at Prashanth Nagar. “Buildings under construction almost touch the park. The situation is not much different in other places in the City,” said Krishnaswamy, a resident of the layout.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Krishnaswamy added that the CMC officers should look into the matter. “Merely opening public parks will not improve the condition of the City. It is equally important to maintain the parks. The officers should keep a record of the parks and ensure there is no encroachment of the land,” he added.

The T Channaiah Park, located near the old bus stand in the heart of the city, has also underused because of its lack of maintenance. Named after the late Dalit leader, the park faces National Highway 7. For morning walks and strolling people prefer to go to Sir M Visvesvaraya district stadium, where coaching for various sports also takes place.

A common grievance of residents here that they do not have an adequate park in the vicinity. “The mini parks in various layouts were developed with great fanfare, but over the years they have been neglected”, says K R Nagaraj, a resident of Kelaginathota Layout.

“The parks were no doubt opened with a noble intention, and it would have benefited children, their parents and even senior citizens. But lack of maintenance has undone all efforts. The only way to handle them is to clean the parks of weeds and also ensure there is no encroachment,” added Krishnaswamy.

“We virtually cannot step into parks in other layouts of the City. How can we maintain a clean environment if the City lacks parks?” asked environmentalists in the city.

Efforts are being made to form three parks in one layout. Behind Shanimahatma temple, where a layout is taking shape, three parks have already been developed. They are, however, in bad condition due to a lack of maintenance. Weeds and shrubs have grown around the three parks.

Many residents felt that the parks were created only to enable authorities or builders to siphon funds. The name boards on the parks are blank, they said.

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