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‘Public Parks in My Area in Delhi Have Turned Into Parking Lots’

Parks of residential colonies are either used as vehicle parking area, or are victims of encroachment.

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My Report
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Even as the government promotes sports under the slogan of Khelo India, then on the other, some children's parks are kept locked in parts of New Delhi. This is the reality of public parks of the national capital that most of the children are facing.

The parks of residential colonies are either used as a parking area or are victims of encroachment. Now the condition has worsened. Due to this, not only are the children's playgrounds being snatched away, but also the elderly are not able to find a place for morning walks on regular days.

One such example of this issue is the locality of Katwaria Sarai in South Delhi. The entry gate and walls of some of the parks are broken here. So in many parks, cars are parked and residents have encroached the remaining space by keeping unnecessary items of their house.

Parks of residential colonies are either used as vehicle parking area, or are victims of encroachment.

No space left for children to play in the parks.

(Image courtesy: Omvesh Upadhyay)

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I spoke to a few people around the locality to understand the situation better, and to know how this issue is affecting them.

Himanshu Kumar, a resident of Katwaria Sarai, said, "Earlier, my elderly father and I used to go for a walk in the park every morning. But so many vehicles are parked there now that it has become difficult to have a proper walk there."

Parks of residential colonies are either used as vehicle parking area, or are victims of encroachment.

Cars parked in the playground.

(Image courtesy: Omvesh Upadhyay)

This encroachment of public parks has affected the children and their playing space tremendously.
"My kids used to play in the park every evening but now, due to this issue, I tell them that it's best to stay at home as the second park in our area is far-off. So now they only watch the TV."
Madhu Pawar, Resident

My cousin, who lives in the same locality, is going through a similar problem and cannot go out to play anymore.

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Meanwhile, the locals who keep their cars in the park say that they have no other option but to do so. The street inside is narrow, so it is not possible to take the car to their houses. With no options left, they park their cars in the public park.
Parks of residential colonies are either used as vehicle parking area, or are victims of encroachment.

No space left for citizens to walk around the ground.

(Image courtesy: Omvesh Upadhyay)

According to a survey conducted by Delhi Parks and Gardens Society, the total number of parks in Delhi is 16,828. This includes the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), and the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC).

Another survey conducted by Delhi Parks and Gardens Society in 9,556 parks, found that 56 percent i.e. 5,399 parks out of these were in a dilapidated condition.

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The survey is ongoing and is likely to be completed by the end of May.

However, after the initial results of this survey, the Delhi government is in action. The administration is planning to prepare a blueprint for financial help to the parks by 30 June.

The Delhi government will provide additional budget to Delhi Parks and Garden Society for the renovation of public parks. In addition to this, the government is likely to fund NGOs who are willing to take the responsibility for their development.

It would be interesting to see that after this inquiry by the government, how much improvement will the public parks actually see. This encroachment and illegal parking issue is taking away childhoods and the joy of playing together for Delhi kids.

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(All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)

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