Damaged children's play equipment lies neglected at Chacha Nehru Park in Hyderabad. DC Image
HYDERABAD: Despite spending hundreds of crores of rupees on developing lung spaces in the teeming megalopolis, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) is allegedly ignoring the city’s public parks. Children’s play areas in these parks are said to be totally overlooked by the corporation, depriving little kids of having some fun in the parks during summer.
No effort has been taken to either to restore or replace damaged play equipment in the 919 parks maintained by the GHMC and colony welfare associations despite lodging multiple complaints. The city has as many as 919 parks, out of which 271 parks are directly under the maintenance of the civic body and the remaining 648 minor parks are under the supervision of residential or colony welfare associations.
The civic body has been ignoring the maintenance of major city parks like Indira Park, Chacha Nehru Park in Mehdipatnam and others. The equipment in children's play areas in public parks including Bhoiguda, Chilakalaguda, Musheerabad, Ramnagar, Uppal, Habsiguda, Tarnaka and others areas are either damaged or destroyed and kept at the corner of the parks. Residents even complain about injuries to children playing on damaged equipment. Naveen Reddy, who is a regular visitor to public parks in Bhoiguda said slides and seesaws at the parks were severely damaged and rust on the equipment was posing a major threat to the children.
Echoing his concern, T. Namrata, a resident of Tarnaka, said despite lodging several complaints, the corporation officials were not taking care of the greenery in the parks. She said residents adjacent to public parks were drying clothes on the equipment in the play area. "The GHMC has no right to deprive children of having fun, especially during summer. We have been trying hard to make children play and keep away from mobile phones at least for a few hours," Namrata added.
A senior GHMC official admitting the bad condition of the parks said, citing the financial condition of the corporation that no contractor was willing to take up maintenance of the public parks. He said though tenders were invited over six times just to water the parks, no bidder turned up. The official made it clear that the parks would continue to remain the same. When asked about procuring saplings by spending hundreds of crores and not repairing the equipment in the city parks, the official refused to comment.