Millennium Park along the dismantled BRT corridor in Chirag Delhi, is the only recreational centre for the residents of Sheikh Sarai and Chirag Delhi village. As one enters the 10-acre park, a group of elderly women can be seen sitting on the benches and singing hymns. In another corner, children play on swings some of which are broken. Despite having a thick green cover, the park also known as Dussehra Park, is poorly maintained and residents say that a good resource is being wasted due to the negligence of the authorities. With broken tiles and mounds of garbage, the lush green park has turned into an eyesore.
“The park is in shambles and the authorities must take immediate action to restore it. Garbage lies scattered in the park and the cemented walkways are broken at many places,” said MD Sharma who has written a number of times to the municipal corporation and is still waiting for a response.
This park is the only recreational spot for more than 3,000 residents of the adjoining colonies. According to the residents, the venue which is used for Dussehra, Chhat Puja, Bhagwat Katha and local sports events, is in dire need of maintenance and redevelopment.
“I come here each morning to exercise. Kids try to scale the park fencing while entering and break it in the process. Users need to take care of public property. Not everything can be blamed on the authorities,” said Sagar Verma.
Following a series of complaints, the authorities have devised a redevelopment plan that is already under process. Sunita, the area councillor, said, “People enjoy coming to this park as it’s green and well lit. But, authorities cannot be blamed if there is no public participation in the maintenance of the resources. We are planning a redevelopment of the park which will include an open gym. We hope people will be more careful while using the equipment after the park’s remodelling.”
She said Chirag Delhi village is not like the other 370 villages in the city as it has a dynamic mix of people and a number of resources which could be used well by the society members. The members of the residents welfare association have also requested the authorities to raise the level of the boundary wall (currently 3 feet high) on the BRT side so that people don’t throw debris into the park and it doesn’t become host to anti-social elements.