|The cowshed at the Aadarsh
Housing Co-operative Society park.
Picture by Ashok Sinha
• Housing board hands over park to Aadarsh Housing Co-operative Society
• Forest department takes up beautification work
• Plants 20-25 saplings
• Appoints security guard
• Plants uprooted
• Forest department leaves beautification work
• Security guard leaves job
• Housing society constructs
One of the old parks in the city has turned into a “cowshed”, denying the young and the elderly a chance to inhale fresh oxygen.
The tale of Aadarsh Co-operative Housing Society park is heart-rending. The housing board had handed over the park to the society in 1966 for its upkeep. But the society failed miserably to keep unscrupulous elements at bay from the green pitch.
The lush green space was supposed to provide a playing zone to children and offer an open space to the elderly for morning and evening strolls.
Over the years, it has lost its purpose. On any given day, a visitor to the park would find cow dung at every step and at least four to five cows taking a nap. Also seen are youths gulping liquor.
“The housing board provided us the land in 1966. The park has a special mention in the housing society map. Till a few years after its inauguration, everything was smooth. But as time went by, unscrupulous elements started ‘invading’ the park. People drink and smoke at the park. Of late, it has turned into a cowshed,” said an octogenarian member of Aadarsh Co-operative Housing Society, who did not wish to be named.
Upset over the park’s present situation, the octogenarian said: “Had the park been in a good condition, we could have walked in the morning. Children would have had a space to play. Now, in the claustrophobic society, we hardly find an open space. The misery is that we had an open space but lack of care spoilt it.”
He said he and a few other members of the society had approached police several times to evict notorious youths from the park but no action had been taken so far.
“Five months ago, we had lodged a complaint at the Buddha Colony police station (under whose jurisdiction the colony is) but no action has been taken. I know it is the responsibility of the society to maintain the park but if criminals try to create problems, what can we do? We can only approach the administration because we can’t take unlawful action to evict them. Earlier, we could get our work done in government offices by paying bribes. Today, even if you pay a bribe there is no guarantee that your work will be done,” he added.
When Sanjay Kumar, the station house officer of Buddha Colony police station was contacted, he pleaded ignorance. “I have joined the police station one-and-a-half months ago. I am not aware whether the society members had registered any complaint or not. I shall have to check,” he said.
Some of the residents of the area blamed the housing society solely for the poor maintenance of the park.
“The society never took an aggressive approach towards the youths who spoilt the park. Had it been assertive, the unscrupulous elements could not have dared to continue with their activities. The criminals have even stolen the bulbs from most of the poles. The society looks like a graveyard in the night,” said another member of the society.
Repeated attempts on Thursday to get in touch with Parmanand Prasad, the secretary of Aadarsh Co-operative Housing Society, proved futile.
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