Broken play and gym equipment dot the parks. Parents don’t want to bring their children but have no choice.
Poorly-maintained parks in Ideal Homes, Beml Layout and Krishna Garden in Rajarajeshwari Nagar (RRNagar) are a disaster in waiting.
Some swings, merry-go-rounds, and slides are broken while others are damaged. The children continue to play in the park and the parents are worried.
Maruthi P, a parent, said, “My son continues to play through the merry-go-round is broken.He loves it and I cannot help it as he cries if I don’t bring him to the park. I have to be extra vigilant when I am with him.”
He also mentioned that the maintenance guy has no control over it.
Ramanna, park maintenance staff said, “Nobody gives me money how can I maintain it. I am told to water the park and I do it.”
Hanumanth Naik, SuperintendentHorticulture, RRNagar said, “The problem of parks comes under the project planning commission but then since the word horticulture exists everyone calls us.”
He also mentioned that the BBMP executive engineers do not maintain it, regardless of the number of times they are told to do so. “They don’t spare Rs. 50 to maintain these playing equipment in the park,” said Naik.
There are 1247 parks under the BBMP. Several bodies are responsible for the maintenance of these parks.
The Karnataka Electricity Board supplies electricity,
water is supplied by the Bangalore Water supply and Sewage Board and play and gym equipment and pathways in the park are handled by Project Planning Engineers.
Uma Shankar, Engineer Executive, RR Nagar ward said that new tenders were issued for the developments of parks within the ward. He also said, “There are no funds to maintain the park hence it’s a problem.”
Malleshwaram Park, near BSNL office, has broken benches and lack of proper playing equipment for children. Mohammad Ali Pinjar, Superintendent Horticulture, West Zone stated that the government doesn’t provide sufficient funds for the maintenance of the park. They are only worried about other developments. “Project Engineers need to be questioned about this,” said Ali.
Basavaraj Kabade, Project Planning Engineer, West zone, informed that they will first look at all the parks and see the damage and then finalize the budget required to improve these parks.
Residents have complained to the BBMP officers to improve the condition of the parks but no action has taken place.
Kritik, a parent, said, “My daughter loves to play on the slides in the evenings. For the past few weeks, I have stopped taking her out because the slide is damaged and there are holes in the middle. It is too risky.”
She also mentioned that she and her friends have written requests to repair the park but no action has taken place.
Jayanagar Bhavi park has seen a drop in the children coming to play in the evenings because of poor facilities. Ravi Kumar, Executive Engineer of South Zone stated that there are many parks in this zone which are famous. “Children play from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m., the machines get over-used and hence break,” said Ravi Kumar. He also said that the government is not providing funds for the parks.
The case with the parks at Jayachamarajendra Nagar, Shivaji Nagar, Varrnapet is different, the BBMP officers are taking extra care to maintain the parks. Niranjan P, Superident horticulture, BBMP said, “In 2009 and 2010 there were separate engineers to maintain the parks but they didn’t do their job. The budget for development of parks was zero earlier but now it has changed.”
He has also promised the residents new parks in 20 wards within a month.