UT drags feet over extending use of school playgrounds

  • Vinod Kumar, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Jul 29, 2014 12:16 IST

A year after Chandigarh administration gave its nod to allow children residing near government schools to use their playgrounds, it continues to drag its feet over its implementation.

In July last year, the administration, as a pilot project, had allowed the use of playgrounds of two Government Model Senior Secondary Schools -Sector 21 and Sector 23 -- after school hours. The administration was to add 20 more government schools to the list.

According to the last year’s decision, the control and management of the ground was to remain with school authorities. They had also been given the responsibility of fixing timings for the use of their playgrounds.

The municipal corporation was to provide two people for maintaining the grounds to the schools in exchange for extending their premises. Any damage on the playground as a result of such activities was to be borne by the municipal corporation.

Explaining the delay, UT finance secretary Sarvjit Singh said that the administration was still completing modalities before allowing children to use school grounds. He added that a separate area, having an independent entry and exit point, would be earmarked in all the schools for children to play.

“We want to develop proper infrastructure so that children can make most of it,” said Sarvjit Singh.

In past, the administration and Municipal Corporation have been accused of sitting over the issue of developing playgrounds for children in various sectors of the city.

Federation of Sector Welfare Associations Chandigarh (FOSWAC) has been taking up the issue of playgrounds with the Municipal Corporation and administration since several years. Recently, a delegation of FOSWAC had met the finance secretary to discuss the issue.

“We have been continually assured that children will soon be able to use government school playgrounds for several years now, but nothing has been done so far,” said FOSWAC chairman Baljinder Singh Bittu, demanding that the decision be executed within a time frame.

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