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HC seeks report on deplorable condition of children's parks

Posted on Apr 16 2014 | IANS

New Delhi, April 16 : Taking note of a letter written to it by a Supreme Court judge on the deplorable conditions of children's park in the capital, the Delhi High Court Wednesday asked the city government to immediately take steps for maintaining such parks and sought a report on the issue.

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice B.D. Ahmed and Justice Siddharth Mridul took suo motu cognizance of the letter written by Justice Kurian Joseph asking it to take up the issue appropriately so that children get a "congenial atmosphere in these parks befitting their age and dignity".

Justice Joseph, after visiting two children's parks at India Gate and Lake Park near Sarojini Nagar April 12 and seeing their deplorable condition, expressed displeasure that no responsible authority was maintaining those parks.

He wrote to the high court, saying it was an issue of "serious concern" for children visiting the parks and their deplorable condition was a "violation of human rights of children".

The bench asked the New Delhi Municipal Council to ensure that steps regarding proper facilities and upgrading are taken immediately in those two parks.

It asked the civic agency to file a status report within two weeks on the issue and posted the matter for May 7.

The court said it will not limit this issue to just two children's parks and sought report from civic agencies and the Delhi Development Authority on all children's parks in the city.

"Give us a report on all the children's park in Delhi whether they have slides, swings and other facilities along with photographs. We direct civic agencies and DDA to file a status report with regard to park under their jurisdiction," the bench said.

In the letter, Justice Joseph said he found that slides were broken, swings were not properly maintained, there was no fountain working and in the Lake Park, there was no lake.

"I had an occasion to visit the children's park near India Gate. To my shock, I found that all the slides were partly damaged and many children were getting injured. The swings were also not properly maintained. There was no fountain working. All the other things in the playing area were either rusty or in a badly maintained condition," Justice Joseph wrote in the letter.

He said he visited the Lake Park another day and was shocked to see there was no lake there now.

"At the western end of the park, there is a place set apart for children. I found the condition deplorable. There was no swing at all, all have been removed. There were holes in the slides and the children were getting injured. The ground was muddy," the letter further said.

"In both the parks, I could infer that there was no responsible authority maintaining it. There was no one to guide the children. I feel there is serious violation of human rights of the children as it is their right in their tender times to have a decent environment to play and frolic around."

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