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HindustanTimes Thu,25 Dec 2014

Garbage and apathy choke Hauz Khas deer park

Ritam Halder, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 07, 2014
First Published: 14:57 IST(7/7/2014) | Last Updated: 14:58 IST(7/7/2014)

The Deer Park at Hauz Khas, one of the chic corners of the Capital, has slowly turned into another neglected chunk of green space. With garbage strewn all around and visible lack of basic maintenance, this hotspot for morning walkers and picknickers is in a dire need of attention from the authorities.

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Hindustan Times visited this vast green space to witness its visible tale of apathy and lack of vigil, which was slowly destroying this beautiful spot.

Small mounds of garbage — ranging from plastic bags to ice cream cups to wrappers to gutkha packets, cotton or flowers packet rotting for ages, broken pieces of DVD discs — strewn in every possible corner, welcome residents as they enter the park.

If that was not enough, the HT team even spotted empty liquor bottles on the wired boundaries of the deer enclosure. There was no security on either of the two gates and guards were found at places where they were least needed, often “taking a break” on benches.

“The people who are supposed to clean the park are government servants. They get their salary. So what is the need to work? They are supposed to sweep and maintain the park but they don’t,” one of the guards said.

Visitors, hence are quite understandably, unhappy with the current status of the park. “The park is in a very bad shape. People, particularly early morning walkers, are often seen feeding the deer in spite of warning signs posted at all corners. Even the water tanks from where the animals drink water are seldom cleaned and is full of filth,” RK Handa, a daily visitor to the park, said.

Many feel the authorities need to be more proactive along with the visitors. “Wherever you go here (in the park), you find waste. Cleaning should be more regular and people should also be more responsible,” Arup Singh, a 21-year-old college student who keeps visiting the park with his friends, said.

The nearby Hauz Khas village, which is one of the most happening spots of the city, is also partly responsible for the sad status of the park. Many of the restaurants and eateries here do not have environmental clearance. In the absence of sewage treatment plants, leftovers are flushed down the drain. They also extract groundwater illegally for cleaning and other such purposes.


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