BMC ‘closes complaints’ on broken garden equipment, puts children’s safety at risk
The children’s play area, at the Prof M V Chandgadkar Udyan, located in Matunga east, has broken equipment, posing a threat to their safety. A resident has complained repeatedly, but claims that instead of fixing the problem, the authorities have closed his complaints.
Mumbai: The Prof M V Chandgadkar Udyan, located in Matunga east, which is popular for recreational activities, has been in a poor condition for nearly eight months. The children’s play area has broken equipment, posing a threat to their safety. A resident has complained repeatedly, but claims that instead of fixing the problem, the authorities have closed his complaints.
Neil Shah, a resident, who visits the park with his five-and-half-year-old daughter said he has been informing the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) of the broken equipment in the kids play area since mid-2022, but the civic body has not done anything to repair it.
“It is because of my daughter’s questions that I decided to follow-up on this matter with BMC. She keeps asking me ‘Daddy why is this broken, who will fix it? Why can’t you fix this for me?’” said Shah.
He said that when he complained, instead of repairing the park, the BMC officials have called him asking for the location of the broken equipment and then, closed the complaint.
“Initially, I verbally informed the park staff, who asked me to meet a person called Milind in the F-North ward. I visited the ward and informed the officials there, who said it will be fixed. But then nothing happened. So, I used the BMC’s official app to register a complaint.
“After a few days, I got a call from someone from either BMC or the contractor’s side, confirming the park’s location. Then, they would send me a photo on WhatsApp confirming the broken equipment and then close the complaint without fixing it. The person would then stop responding to me on WhatsApp,” said Shah.
Shah shared copy of emails where BMC had officially closed the complaint marking it as ‘Garden repair done’.
When HT contacted the assistant superintendent of gardens from the F North ward, he said that he has never received a complaint, despite telling him of the official complaints registered on the app. The officer, without divulging any further information, said that he will ‘look into it’ and get back.
HT visited the park and saw broken swings, missing seats from see-saw, and cracks in the artificial turf in the kids play area. A broken slide was lying on the side and swings were completely missing in some places. Children were seen playing on such broken equipment.
“What is frustrating is that the BMC is falsely closing the complaint without addressing the issue I raised. I suspect some nexus between the officials and the contractor,” claimed Shah.
Chirag Shah, of Wadala Matunga Sion Forum, said, “Near this park is the famous ‘Five Gardens’, BMC maintains that very well but has problems maintaining the two parks next to it.
“The BMC officials closing complaints without fixing the park is a larger issue. If BMC does not repair this in next few days, we will ask all citizens from the area to raise their voice on this matter,” he said. Advocate Trivankumar Karnani, founder of Mumbai North Central District Forum, said, “The actions of the contractor are mischievous and fraudulent, with a motive to falsely misrepresent that their call to the complainant is treated as ‘grievance redressed’, which is in fact deceptive and a lie. Legal action against such officials should be taken and they should be removed from public service.”
HT has reported on poor condition of BMC’s Park in Mankhurd and Ghatkopar, which have similar broken equipment.