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Parks, green spaces wither in neglect as Bengaluru chases development dreams

Despite having two security guards and four cleaning staff on contract, a BBMP park in Koramangala 4th Block is reportedly inadequately lit and poorly maintained, with visitors lamenting about the lack of repairs to broken equipment.
Last Updated 24 February 2024, 01:18 IST

Bengaluru: As Bengaluru's IT and real estate sectors thrive, the city's green spaces suffer neglect.

Parks and gardens, essential recreational spaces, suffer from neglect. Sports and gym equipment within these areas remain unrepaired, rendering them unusable for the public.

Despite having two security guards and four cleaning staff on contract, a BBMP park in Koramangala 4th Block is reportedly inadequately lit and poorly maintained, with visitors lamenting about the lack of repairs to broken equipment.

"Nearly 25 out of the 60 lights in walking tracks and toilets do not work," said Siddegowda, a security guard. “Information was collected on what needs to be fixed, but there has been no improvement."

Several visitors DH spoke to were dissatisfied with the lighting conditions for evening walks in most parks. Concerns were also raised about malfunctioning gym equipment and locked toilets, resulting in shorter-than-expected park visits.

In Koramangala, even a park managed under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model was not immune to criticism. Visitors voiced a desire for extended hours, with Suzanna Kennedy, a regular, lamenting about the poorly maintained children's play equipment.

Similar discontent brewed at Richmond Park. Susan, a longtime visitor, fondly recalled the days of well-maintained facilities under private builders, highlighting the stark contrast with the current BBMP neglect. She emphasised the pressing issue of mosquitoes, suggesting the installation of fumigators to restore pleasant evenings for park attendees.

Beyond lighting and equipment woes, visitors also noted the haphazard way fallen leaves were swept to random corners, ignoring the composters. Broken benches offered no respite, and locked toilets with "under maintenance" signs added insult to injury.

In Jayamahal Park, rusty equipment awaited repairs, while the Jeevan Bima Nagar Park saw old gym equipment discarded alongside newer ones. A visitor pointed to the fountain, functional nine years ago, but now remains unrepaired.

Raise complaints on Sahaaya app: Officials

The maintenance of parks falls under different departments within the BBMP.

For example, the projects department oversees the tracks and structures, while the electrical department handles lighting. Each department has its own maintenance approach, with some operating under annual contracts and others supported by CSR funds from NGOs.

Residents can lodge complaints about park issues via the Sahaaya application, and the relevant departments will address them promptly, an official said. 

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(Published 24 February 2024, 01:18 IST)

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