Poor state of Middle Andaman parks clammed by residents

Report by: 
V SENTHIL KUMAR
RANGAT
11 Apr 2017

With almost all Panchayats in and around Rangat in Middle Andaman boasting to have developed parks in their respective areas, management in the village-level bodies appears to be lustrous in the first instance. But a deeper insight will mirror years of neglect reducing the recreational areas means particularly for children completely unfit. Swings, which should have been swaying with kids on board, remain deserted as most of them are rusted posing threat of injuries to children. Joggers develop cold feet before stepping into the footpath for fear of tripping down on the slippery tracks. The Children Parks under all Panchayats here have become a major source of revenue generation for the authorities through claims of yearly renovations. But in reality, the recreational areas have remained in an abysmal state for the past more than a decade.
According to sources, almost all Panchayats in the Rangat region have not purchased a single play equipment for the Children’s Park in the last ten years. Play equipment which were procured and installed in the initial days after the development of the Parks have now become redundant. Following complaints from the locals, this correspondent visited a Children’s Park at Dasharathpur and found gross mismanagement by the Panchayat authorities concerned. Almost all the play equipment  installed at the park have corroded owing to lack of repair and maintenance. The rusty installations pose threat of injuries to children and others visiting the park, numbers which has sharply declined in the recent months. Venomous creatures too have found safe haven inside the park for the presence of wild bushes. A couple of elderly citizens whom this correspondent met at the park also complained about its deteriorating condition.
“The damaged play equipment  in almost all the parks here pose a serious threat to our children. The Panchayats have failed miserable to ensure upkeep the parks under its control. Almost all the amusement facilities here are in poor shape and children are left with no other option than to stay idle while visiting the park. Our children now prefer to stay back home watching TV due to the state. The Panchayats here claim expenditure to the tune of lakhs of rupees every year for maintenance of the parks, but the condition of the amusement parks raises serious doubts on the integrity of the Panchayat authorities. The top brass of the UT administration should take stock of the situation and order a probe into the expenditure incurred over the years for repair and maintenance of the Children’s Park here,” said some residents speaking to this correspondent.