Shimla June, 13: The absence of proper parks and playgrounds across the city has made children an unhappy lot. Though parties come out with vision documents and manifestos, nothing has been done. HIMUDA and the Municipal Corporation have failed to create parks and playgrounds even in newly developed townships like New Shimla and Vikas Nagar.
“HIMUDA developed New Shimla, Phase-I, Phase-II and Phase-III colonies under the BJP and Congress regimes. The town planners have turned this agency into an instrument to grab even open spaces meant for other purposes in these areas,” a resident said.Children have become hostages to congested localities where they see nothing but traffic mess. Traffic jams are a routine in New Shimla (Phase-III) Sector 5 and Sector 6, (Phases-I and II) Sectors 1 to IV. Take the example of an administrative complex at Vikas Nagar.
“It has been turned into a commercial hub with no parking space as the ground floor space that should have been kept for parking for public has more shops than any congested bazaar,” a former town planner said.Though a few parks and playgrounds are coming up at Rani Ground, Panthaghati, dumping ground at Kanlog by the Forest Department and a multi-purpose stadium at Engine Ghar, Sanjauli, besides the SMC has proposed a Rs 65-lakh project to upgrade 25 existing parks, these are too little to cater to such a big population.
“In the Lower and Middle Bazaar around The Mall and Lakkar Bazaar, children are not allowed to play on The Ridge. We have no playground in the old city and indoor sports complex is dominated by adults,” a child rued.
Even schoolchildren have come up with satirical slogans to wake up the local authorities during different contests on the issue in the city.Prashant Sirckek, Joint commissioner, SMC, said existing parks were being upgraded under the AMRUT mission. “We have proposed to develop an ice-skating rink and eco-tourism spots in different parts of the Shimla urban forest area under the Smart City proposal for which Central nod is awaited,” he said.
Source Tribune India