HYDERABAD: Despite spending hundreds of millions of rupees to develop lung spaces in the teeming megalopolis, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) reportedly ignores the city’s public parks. Children’s playgrounds in these parks would be totally neglected by the society, depriving small children from having fun in the parks during the summer.

No effort has been made to restore or replace damaged play equipment in the 919 parks maintained by the GHMC and settlement welfare associations despite multiple complaints being filed. The city has up to 919 parks, 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 settlement welfare associations.

The civic body has ignored the maintenance of major city parks like Indira Park, Chacha Nehru Park in Mehdipatnam and others. Equipment in children’s playgrounds in public parks including Bhoiguda, Chilakalaguda, Musheerabad, Ramnagar, Uppal, Habsiguda, Tarnaka and other areas are either damaged or destroyed and kept at the corner of the parks. Residents even complain of injuries to children playing on damaged equipment. Naveen Reddy, who regularly visits public parks in Bhoiguda, said the slides and seesaws in the parks were badly damaged and rust on the equipment posed a major threat to children.

Echoing his concern, Tarnaka resident T. Namrata said that despite filing several complaints, company officials were not taking care of the greenery in the parks. She said residents adjacent to public parks were drying clothes on playground equipment. “The GHMC has no right to deprive children of having fun, especially during the summer. We strive to get children playing and keeping them away from cell phones at least for a few hours,” Namrata added.

A senior GHMC official admitting to the poor condition of the parks said, citing the company’s financial situation, that no contractors were willing to undertake maintenance of public parks. He said that although tenders were issued more than six times just to water the parks, no bidders came forward. The official clarified that the parks would remain the same. Asked about buying saplings by spending hundreds of crores and not repairing equipment in city parks, the official declined to comment.