Even as citizen groups in the city welcomed the state government’s decision to prohibit civic bodies from changing the existing reservations on open spaces, they remained skeptical about whether school students will be allowed to access sporting facilities inside clubs and gymkhanas that had obtained plots through special schemes.
“In principle, the decision is a welcome sign for protecting the city’s open spaces,” said Nayana Kathpalia, co-convenor, Citispace, an NGO fighting to save city's open spaces. “However, it is not possible to have a one-fit policy encompassing all gymkhanas.”
Hindustan Times had reported on the new policy, which got a nod on June 14, on Wednesday.
Though a high-level 28-member committee headed by chief minister Prithviraj Chavan will be set up to ensure implementation of the policy, citizens are wary of the impediments the committee might have to encounter. “Most gymkhana grounds have already been booked for next year. How can we ensure that school children will be able to avail of its facilities without any restraint?” asked Vidya Vaidya, a trustee of H-West Ward Federation.
When questioned, sports minister Padmakar Walvi said that the practical aspects of the policy are yet to be discussed.