Arid patches in parks

Arid patches in parks

Patches of land that were once green now lie parched-yellow in the bustling sectors of HSR Layout. Known to be a quiet and homely area, HSR Layout is crippled with problems thanks to rapid commercialisation.

The lack of well-maintained parks is one of the problems faced by the residents of the area. Dried-up plants lying uncleared and inadequate lighting are a common sight in the parks here. However, the residents haven’t given up.

The HSR Layout Residents Welfare Association, Sector 2, has taken up the responsibility of providing adequate water to the two parks located in the area. “Lack of water has led to arid patches in the parks. The existing borewells have dried up and the corporation has removed the motor as well. Hence, the committee is buying water from private agents and maintaining the parks. Though we have approached the members of the Corporation several times and held many meetings with them, they aren’t taking any interest,” says N Gopalakrishna, the vice-president of the association.  He adds that thanks to frequent rains, the plants haven’t suffered. But on regular days, the committee members have to pay Rs 600 to buy a tank of water.

Two parks in Sector 1 have been affected by this problem as well. Muniswamy, the secretary of the association of Sector 1, says that the gardeners aren’t paid well by the corporators due to which they refuse to maintain the parks. “The pumps aren’t repaired.

Though the BBMP says that it has called for tenders for maintenance, none of them have come forward so far. Apart from watering the plants, the committee members also see to it that the plants have adequate manure and the pathways are cleared so that people can walk.”

Lack of adequate lighting is another issue here. Gopalakrishna adds that a petition was once prepared regarding the same and given to the Corporation. But it was all in vain as he points out, “HSR Layout is now a heavily populated area and many chain-snatchers loiter around the parks.”

In the end, it is the residents who have to bear the brunt of it. Rohit (name changed), a resident, says that the callous attitude of the BBMP has left the parks in poor shape. Last month, he got a gardener for the parks and is currently collecting donations from various residents. Nischay, a resident of Sector 6, says that the parks should be cleaned more often and the plants should be maintained properly. “The pathways aren’t cleared due to which, the kids are unable to play here. Parks are meant to be a recreational space. How can they be so if they are not well-maintained?” 

Though the BBMP cites lack of funds as an issue, the committee members of both associations feel that the lackadaisical attitude of the corporators is what is affecting the green spaces. While Muniswamy says that development has been stalled as BBMP is currently trying to put these parks under private bodies, Gopalakrishna says, “Last month, we held a public grievance meeting in Cambridge Public School where corporators agreed that the parks weren’t being maintained properly. We have scheduled another meeting with the joint commissioner and hope to rake up this issue again.”   

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