‘Agencies told to bring in additional manpower to finish the work’

Demanding their right to recreation and play, a group of 70 children of Bawana JJ Colony has written to the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) asking it to ensure that parks in their colony, which have been converted into dumping grounds for garbage, are cleaned up so that they could use them.

A senior DCPCR official said: “It is more than 7-8 years since the JJ Colony of Bawana was established. It has a population of about 1.5 lakh. There are three Municipal Corporation of Delhi parks and at least 24 Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board parks and additional one-two parks in each block. But these parks neither have any proper plants or trees nor are they being maintained or looked after.’’

The officials admitted that the parks were not just dumping grounds for garbage but were also breeding grounds for mosquitoes and a major health hazard as the dirty drain water of the colonies also gets accumulated in them.

“There is no space for children to play nor for elders to take a walk. Some parks have even been encroached upon by the residents,’’ said the official.

Understanding the problem that the children here are facing, DCPCR wrote to the MCD Narela Zone asking for a detailed report on the matter. The MCD informed the Commission that development of the parks in JJ Colony was not with its Horticulture Department but was the responsibility of DUSIB, which comes directly under the Delhi Government.

“We then wrote to DUSIB informing them about the complaints and status of parks in the JJ Colony of Bawana and asked it to look into the matter and issue directions for immediate redressal. Unfortunately, there has been no reply, despite our many reminders. Finally, DUSIB replied to the Commission in March this year stating that the maintenance in the said colony vested with the Horticulture Division and also sent a copy to the MCD Deputy Commissioner,’’ said the DCPCR official.

So while the government departments fought to shift blame of the mismanagement of the parks in the area children continued to suffer.

“We wanted to settle the matter as soon as possible so we summoned the Deputy Commissioneron May 15 and he explained to the Commission that the responsibility of maintenance of the park in the JJ clusters pertains to DUSIB while the cleaning of the garbage from the public places lies with the MCD Department,’’ said the DCPCR official. Thereafter the Commission directed both the MCD and DUSIB to take action within seven days in the matter and now with the battle to fix responsibility finally appearing to be over, the children in the area may soon have their parks back.

“The agencies have been told to bring in additional manpower to finish the work, following which a completion report is to be submitted along with photographs to the Commission,’’ said the DCPCR official.

More In: Delhi