ANDHRA PRADESH

These parks are not for visitors

HYDERABAD, JUNE 1. Even as new parks keep mushrooming at one end of the city, it is an appalling sight on the other end where parks, which are as old as Hyderabad, lie in a state of utter neglect and become home to vagabonds and darker sections of society.

Take the case of the 30-year-old park behind Thakur Home's Junior College in East Marredpally. This park, so big that it has an annexure as well, is bearing the brunt of absence of civic sense of certain elements of society, who the residents allege, are dwellers of the nearby Addagutta slum. The tarred road alongside the park is grimy with remnants of morning chores of the elements, while inside the park, where sport equipment lie rusting, the insensitive attitude of municipal cleaners are in full show. The garbage dumped inside the park is carelessly swept into one corner, where it is burnt sending sickening fumes into nearby homes, while debris, nobody knows from where, lies in a mass in another corner.

Seasoned campaigner for residents' rights in the area and president of the 30-year-old Marredpally Residents' Association, N. Ramanathan, says the authorities concerned have promised closure of the side-road and to develop the park. But as babudom should have it, the promises remain promises, never broken, but never fulfilled.

The condition of three other parks in the same area, particularly one adjoining the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board's local office, is not different. The park near the board office, in spite of having adequate greenery and plenty of equipment for kids, sadly has vandals attending to nature's call inside the park itself.

More shocking is what is happening to the Teachers' Colony Park, the condition of which was reported in these columns on May 6 (Playground or garbage dump). The Secunderabad Additional Commissioner, A. Rajeshwar Rao, when reminded of a proposal and the foundation stone laid for development of the park, had said that the proposal was put on hold because of elections. " It will be taken up after May 25,'' he said. On Tuesday, when The Hindu went back to the park, it was found that the foundation-stone was in pieces, demolished by vandals, while the condition of the park had further worsened with more garbage being dumped in.

"Mr. Rao is on leave and is out of station. AC (West Zone), D. Vijay Bhaskar is in-charge," an official at Mr. Rao's peshi has said. However, Mr. Bhaskar has denied any knowledge of him being in-charge! All the same, he has also promised that he will look into the condition of the park.

Clean and Green has already gone for a six?

(Readers are welcome to write about civic problems in their areas to the City Editor, The Hindu , Begumpet, Hyderabad - 16 or email to hydlife@thehindu.co.in).