Shankar Bennur

MUDA has set aside Rs. 2 crore for its development

The bal bhavan is in a shambles in the absence

of maintenance

Swimming pool, waterfalls and park planned

on the premises

MYSORE: This place was once a beehive of activity. It was a popular amusement spot for children in the past. They used to visit the place on weekends, especially to take a joy ride on the toy train. But now children hesitate to visit this place.

We are talking about the Jawahar Bal Bhavan at Bannimantap. The place has become an eyesore. Weeds have been allowed to grow waist high, making it impossible for the children to play at ease.

The bhavan is in a shambles in the absence of maintenance and improvement.

The toy train which was the last remaining attraction has been relegated to its shed. The rails had worn out, resulting in the suspension of the toy train ride. With this, the bhavan now has nothing to offer to children.

The rubbish dump on the skating ring, which was developed by Vikrant Tyres Company a few years ago, reveals its use. Overall, the Bal Bhavan in Mysore, which is under the Department of Women and Child Welfare, unlike the one in Bangalore, has become a place which no child wants to visit.

Acting after the recent public criticism, the Government authorities here have come out with a project to upgrade the bhavan incorporating new attractions.

The Mysore Urban Development Authority (MUDA) has set aside Rs. 2 crore for the overall development of the bhavan. Tenders will be invited soon as the detailed project report (DPR), which was prepared by a private agency some time ago, is being modified to add more facilities in order to make it a “one stop spot” for children’s amusement.

MUDA Commissioner Jayanna told The Hindu that the modernisation may commence in a couple of months and recreational facilities, including a swimming pool, waterfalls and park, would be set up.

“We are ready to spend more than what has been set aside for the project. We are keen to revive it in such a manner that it would attract children like in the past,” he said.

When the then Deputy Commissioner G. Kumar Naik was the chairman of the Bal Bhavan, he had developed a project to completely revamp the place. But after his transfer, the project did not make headway and the bhavan started losing its charm.

Mysore zilla panchayat, Chief Executive Officer, Shankar, who is the present chairman of the bhavan, said the work would be launched soon as the MUDA had set into motion the process of selecting the agency for its development.

Modern amusement games would be established in addition to facilities which would educate them and instil a sense of creative thinking, he added.

Deputy Director of Women and Child Welfare Vimala, who is the secretary of the bhavan, said the MUDA was introducing e-tenders for the modernisation project.