10-year-old wants park in Shimla, writes to high court

"In the absence of parks and playgrounds, the schoolchildren are forced to watch television...the government should create such facilities here (in Shimla)," Vipasha, a Class 5 student, wrote in a two-page letter.

"Today Shimla is a concrete jungle with no parks, open spaces or grounds for children, forcing them to remain glued to television, which we know is not good for our health," she added.

Taking cognisance of Vipasha's letter, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Rajeev Sharma Saturday asked the government to respond on the matter.

The high court has listed the matter for next hearing Oct 28. Planned for a maximum population of 16,000, the Queen of Hills, as Shimla was fondly called by the British, now has more than 200,000 residents.

High-rise buildings and other development projects have gobbled up much of its green patches, besides leading to the problems of water scarcity and parking.

At present, there are 187 buildings in Shimla, each having more than five storeys. These include a 12-storey commercial building being constructed by Jagson International Ltd and an eight-storey building of the Oberoi group's five-star hotel Cecil.

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