High Street Children’s Park nestled in Cooke Town is a fitting example of poor maintenance and inefficiency by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).
Six-year-old Preethi J stays just a stone’s throw away, yet, she is reluctant to step inside the park and so are her parents. The deplorable condition of playing equipment and dangerous boulders placed unevenly in the midst of the park are to be blamed for this.
Around 50 to 60 kids staying in and around High Street have been forced to play inside their homes and sometimes on the streets due to absence of good children’s park in the locality.
Bhavana Kumar, mother of Preethi J, said: “We have complained to BBMP and the local corporator, but the park’s development has been put on backburner with no move to improve it.”
Besides boulders, the swings too are in bad shape and broken. The walking track is unfit to use, slides are rusted and so are the street lights that turn non-functional at times.
“There have been many instances when kids have tripped over and fallen, especially after dusk. Hence, Parents usually accompany them when they come over here. There is another children’s park on the parallel lane but many hesitate to step inside as it’s always swarmed by couples and mischief-mongers,” said another resident, Kalavathi R.
Residents claim that there used to be a caretaker four months ago. But was removed as he used to beat the kids. He was also an alcoholic. The presence of garbage which is mounting by each passing day, is another concern for residents nearby and visitors. “Opposite to the park there is an elders’ park in good state. But it cannot be used by children as it irritates elderly citizens,” said Piyali Gupta, another resident. Local corporator, Maruthi Seva Nagar Ward, R Rajendran said, “there are plans to tie up with private firms for upgrading and renovating the park. We won’t remove the stone boulders but give them a facelift by painting them.”