Monday, June 21, 2010

This chaman has no maali

This chaman has no maali

Nobody visits the park after nightfall as it is taken over by young lovers

PK Surendran. Bangalore



A beautiful park, which is roomy and green, is waiting for a saviour. The bagh on 13th Main, HAL 2nd Stage has no caretaker. The gates are wide open and many things happen in the darkness, residents say. Sometimes, cows block the path of joggers.
Seniors and mothers around bemoan that adventurous youth and anti-social hands take over the park after dusk. "They indulge in many things," says Shanti, a homemaker living in the close vicinity. What her modesty disallows to say in open is that young men and women march in after nightfall and indulge in necking that she believes will have an unsavoury effect on the teen children around.
"Nobody goes to the park after dark," agrees KP Siddhaih, a retired official who loves the park during day and hates it after nightfall. He is also a member of HAL 2nd Stage Residents' Association. "Children from my home regularly go there in the mornings or evenings. This is a four-acre lungs gifted by the then MLA Raghunath at the fag end of his tenure as legislator. Honestly, this is the only work he did for this area but this one compensates all," he says.
Siddhaih says it is a lovely park with great trees and grass and enough area for children to play if only the BBMP owns it and runs it. The park is now like an orphan. The Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) built it and BBMP has not yet taken over. Residents have requested the authorities several times in vain. The situation could be gauged from the fact that even as the DNA team was taking snaps of the park and the tell-tale signs of neglect on Thursday morning, someone locked the front gate. But ACS Naik, president of the residents' association, led them out through another gate that was open.
Neglect has a price to pay. Around the park are some tall coconut trees. Last month's storm brought one down. It fell on the benches. Luckily, nobody was present then, says J Lakshmana Rao, secretary of the HAL 2nd Stage Civic Amenities and Cultural Association. "Other coconut trees stand there precariously but we have no authority to turn to," says Rao.
He says this is a swell of a park, very well laid and it only needs BBMP's care. He wants the park to have recreational facility for children. A park comes alive when children play and women gather to walk or talk shop, says he. "This park is visited daily by at least 300 people, I believe, and I will say this is our landmark and the most precious thing in our area. We are sure the Palike will do the needful," he adds.
Vijayalakshmi, a resident nearby, says: "I love coming to this park every day. I only wish a regular security is in place."
Sambit Das, a frequenter to the park, says it's really a nice park, it only needs care. "It needs a play area for children and a security man."
Pooja Sharma, a home maker, says: "The best part about this park is that it is well lit up during the evenings which creates a peaceful ambience and makes it more inviting to take a stroll here."
But HAL is luckier than other parts of the city. It enjoys some eight parks, big and small, that act like a shield from the mounting carbon on the streets. "We can do with still more," says a young jogger. "But the trouble is that there is no more space."

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