Panchkula: Poorly lit parks double as drug addicts’ hub, gambling dens

Published on Aug 19, 2022 02:48 AM IST

The park that caters to Budhanpur, Indira Colony and Sector 16 has the notoriety of being the favourite haunt of gamblers and drug addicts.

The park that caters to Budhanpur, Indira Colony and Sector 16 has the notoriety of being the favourite haunt of gamblers and drug addicts. (Sant Arora/HT)
The park that caters to Budhanpur, Indira Colony and Sector 16 has the notoriety of being the favourite haunt of gamblers and drug addicts. (Sant Arora/HT)
By, Panchkula

While Panchkula boasts of several top-notch parks, it also has a few black sheep that are overrun by overgrown grass, gamblers and drug addicts, and in some cases pigs and cattle.

The park that caters to Budhanpur, Indira Colony and Sector 16 has the notoriety of being the favourite haunt of gamblers and drug addicts. No woman or child dares enter the park, especially after sundown. A visit to the park confirmed that its reputation as the troublemakers’ den was well earned as in one corner sat a group of men engrossed in a game of cards, while another group of young men were injecting drugs. Instead of flowers and grass, the park is covered with garbage. One portion of the park has a thicket of trees, which have been planted in a haphazard manner that one cannot walk straight. Locals say a spell of rain is enough to turn the park into a swamp.

Monsoon turns Indira Colony park into bog

Harinder Rai, who has been living in Indira Colony for 20 years, says the word “filthy” sums up the state of the park. “After the rains, authorities have to pour sand in the muddy park. There is garbage, mosquitoes and overgrown grass galore at the park.There is no street light in the park at night.”

15-year-old Dikshant Chauhan says, “There is a small area in the park,which we have earmarked for playing cricket, but in monsoon water collects in the park, making it impossible for us to play.”

He says the teenagers would like the park to have a running track and gym equipment. “Once we planted flowers in the park, but they whittled away as no one came forward for their upkeep.”

Sunita, a resident of Budhanpur, only ever uses the park as a short-cut to her house. “The park is unsafe, and I avoid crossing through it as much as possible.”

The park located next to the power house in Industrial Area, Phase 2, is also crying for attention. The park caters to residents of sector 15, Power house colony and Harmilap Nagar.

‘Sector 15 park dilapidated over last two years’

“Two years ago, the condition of the park was not so bad and a lot of people used to visit it for morning and evening walks, but it is no longer the case now,” says Azad Singh, a 65-year-old resident.

Overgrown grass, stagnant water, and no electric bulbs has deterred locals from visiting the park. “There is no drinking water, or swings for kids. The park,which was once the favourite haunt of residents, is now a hub of drug addicts,” he said.

Krishan Kumar, 68, who started visiting the park a few weeks ago, said: “This park is a disgrace. Just look at the filth at the entrance!” Meanwhile, cattle have claimed the park opposite it.”

MC failed to look after parks: Citizens’ body prez

SK Nayar, a resident of Sector 15 and Citizens’ Welfare Association president said: “The parks’ condition has worsened since it was handed over to the MC. There is no maintenance at all. People have stopped going to these parks, and choose to walk along the busy road instead.”

Agreeing that both parks come under the purview of the civic body, MC commissioner Dharamvir Singh said, “The MC has 216 parks. Except a few, all parks are maintained by Park Development Societies. The MC provides funds per square metre of land. In the park near Indira Colony no such society has been constituted. We will check and try to improve its condition. We will also convene a meeting with societies managing parks to determine why they are in such a bad shape.”

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Tuesday, January 31, 2023
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