Since summer vacations are on, the only thing worrying Alpana Gupta, a resident of CR Park’s N block, is where to send her two children to play. There are more than 20 parks in the colony, but a majority of them have either been beautified or sports activities are restricted there.
Residents complain that children are being denied the right to play in CR Park. “Cricket, football and other sports are banned in these parks. So children are forced to play on streets,” said Gupta.
Out of the 26 parks in CR Park, six have been developed into ornamental parks. The remaining parks either do not have sufficient playing space or are out of bounds for kids. “There are some parks where adults come for yoga, walk or exercise. But children are not allowed to play here,” she said.
According to RWA members, there have been incidents of people getting hit by cricket balls. In some cases, senior citizens have even landed up in hospitals. This has resulted in children being barred from playing inside these parks.
Another issue is the lack of maintenance. For example, the only two swings at Khudi Ram Bose Park are broken. Another park in E block, that belongs to SDMC, has bricks lying in one corner. Children are allowed to play in I-block parks, one of whom is an ornamental park and the other one is reserved for senior citizens.
The ornamental park is divided into four segments — badminton court, area for yoga and physical exercises, playing space for children and a lawn. Children up to 12 or 13 years are allowed to play here with plastic bats and balls. Higher age group children are allowed to go to the senior citizens park. I-block RWA members are planning to put a net around the boundary of this park, high enough so that cricket balls do not go outside the park and hit someone.
Dr Jyotirmay Bhattacharyya, general secretary, I-block RWA, said, “Most of the colony parks belong to SDMC and RWAs manage them. We are trying to figure out a solution so that children are allowed to play and at the same time residents do not get hurt.”
Area councillor Virender Kasana said that this is a matter that can be amicably discussed between RWA members of different blocks. “Kids should be allowed to play in parks. We are also putting in efforts for developing infrastructure in these parks. We are also creating a football ground for youngsters inside Mela ground,” he said.