Bengaluru: Poor availability, access and maintenance continue to plague the city’s parks and playgrounds, reveals a survey conducted by Janaagraha. Bengaluru has 19 sqkm of open spaces which accounts for 3% of the city area (709 sq km). But at 2.2 sq metre of open space per head, Bengaluru falls considerably short of the prescribed standard of 10 sq metre recommended by the Urban and Regional Development Plan Formulation and Implementation Guidelines of 2015 of the Union Ministry of Urban Development for cities with a population of over one million. This would require an additional 67 sqkm of open spaces in Bengaluru. On assessing the accessibility and quality of parks and playgrounds, Janaagraha found that only 21% of parks met the standards, while only 56% had adequate lighting.
Lack of toilets in public spaces has been debated by several city experts and the survey has also found that only 6% of the parks have toilets for citizens. Playgrounds fare even worse, with only 1% of playgrounds having drinking water facilities, while a mere 4% having toilet facilities. Nearly 70% are filled with litter and garbage. Nearly 49% of the playgrounds also lack lighting facilities and only 39% have play equipment or facilities.
The survey also highlighted lack of public toilets in the city. The national guidelines for public toilets set by the Swachh Bharath Mission prescribes one toilet seat per 100 men and two per 100 women in cities, but Bengaluru falls short by almost 1,100 public toilet complexes.