Some parks are downright hazardous for children

Archana, a resident of Indiranangar Double Road, got a rude shock when her three- year-old daughter fell off the merry-go-round in the neighbourhood Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) park. The plastic seat on which her daughter was sitting got detached from the equipment and the little girl came crashing down. The park was inaugurated just two weeks ago and the play equipment was brand new.

This appears to be the case in a number of parks. Though hefty amounts are being spent on landscaping, the play equipment used by children is often ignored with most units being far from child-friendly. Broken safety handles in merry-go-rounds, worn-out slides with gaping holes right in the middle and rusty swings with jagged edges are a common sight, posing a potential risk to the kids.

“Play equipment in parks seems to be made from poor quality materials and they show wear-and-tear very soon. Slides, merry-go-rounds and play areas don't have safety handles,” said a parent.

Unsafe for children

Megha Naik, mother of a three-year-old, said it has become unsafe for children to play in parks without adult supervision.

Swings are often located haphazardly, sometimes close to the walking tracks, endangering walkers as well as the children on the swings.

Asked about the lack of maintenance, B.V. Ganesh, Chairperson of the BBMP's Standing Committee for Sports and Education, admitted that there was room for improvement. “Our committee was constituted only recently. Tenders have been invited for repair and maintenance of play equipment and orders will be given within a week. A quality and safety controller will check and certify the equipment before finalising the play stations. A precautionary board for the children will be put up in every park,” he said.

Swings for adults

Addressing the complaint that adults also use the swings in the parks which cause them to break, Mr. Ganesh said a new project to equip the parks with bigger swings for older children as well as adults will be implemented shortly. New play equipment will be installed in parks that don't have them if councillors place a request. The committee will ensure annual painting and repairs, he said.

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