12 years on, Mumbai residents still await a playground
The residents have time and again raised the issue with authorities, but ward officials say they haven’t received any information yetmumbai Updated: Jul 27, 2017 10:08 IST
It’s been almost 12 years since the civic body allotted 642 square metre of land at Tirandaz village in Powai for a playground, but even today the land is just an empty plot with a shed that serves as a godown, surrounded by another ground that was once a dump yard.
“As kids we had open spaces where we could play cricket, but the way things are now it seems like our children will have play online tournaments because there is absolutely no place for them to play,” said Amol Chavan, a resident.
The land in question is right next to Tirandaz Municipal School, and two other schools in neighbourhood. Originally it was to be named after Sant Gadgebaba Maharaj, but there isn’t even a sign of any board that indicates what the plot is allocated for.
The residents have time and again raised the issue with authorities, but ward officials say they haven’t received any information yet. “The area in question is reserved as an open space, but the garden department hasn’t received any handing over documents yet. Only when the Development Plan department communicates the issue with us, then we can take it up. However, we will have clarity then,” said Ganesh Ambore, junior tree officer, S-ward.
But, residents have a different story to tell. Powai Vikas Prathisthan, an NGO, has records which state that the proposal for naming the playground was tabled in 1999 in the ward committee meeting by Suvarna Karanje, head of the committee. They also went on to add that ever since 1989, the land is under BMC’s control.
“We are the only inhabitants in the city, who have a playground on paper, but not on land. Our kids have nowhere to go to after school, and they end up using cellphones and laptop, which affects their health,” said Balbir Singh, president, Powai Vikas Prathisthan.