Dehradun: Children locked at home for almost two years due to the pandemic have had few options to spend time outdoors, residents have claimed, as there are almost no playgrounds in the city and most public parks are in poor condition. Parents have told TOI that these parks lack maintenance and facilities.
“We have two parks here and both are in poor condition. There is no regular maintenance, there are problems with proliferation and this has been the situation for ten years. Both the contractor and the civic agency seem indifferent to improving the situation. This left very little space for the children to play,” said Rakesh Bhatia, resident of MDDA settlement, Dalanwala. Residents claimed that most of these public parks lacked sufficient lighting, making them inaccessible after dark and also unsafe. “The main problem is the lack of support from civic organizations. Resident Welfare Associations have limited funds, but we do our best to maintain these areas. There is no maintenance and even the local parashads are not supportive. Children need a playground. We have raised these concerns with the district administration but nothing has been done so far,” said DD Arora, Chairman of Rajendra Nagar RWA. Residents said some areas of the city were completely lacking in green spaces and playgrounds, leaving no space for children to play or for walkers to enjoy, while other green spaces were facing to the problem of builder encroachment. “At Defense Colony, our children were forced to play in the streets as the RWA took it upon themselves to prevent them from entering the premises,” said resident Kabir Ahluwalia.