A well-maintained park is often something that attracts people to a locality, but the residents of Labour Colony in Bhavanipuram, Vijayawada are welcomed with the exact opposite. This mini park contains dilapidated benches, rusting slides and swings, plastic and scrap, stray animals, and a place that is overgrown with weeds and hasnâ€™t seen maintenance in a long time.
While there are two mini parks in the colony, the second park is seemingly ill-managed and welcomes residents with dumped garbage, plastic and scrap.
The residents allege that the state of the park is due to the ignorance of the municipal authorities. Garbage dumped in open areas is bound to attract stray animals, and the park turning into a dump yard is bothering residents.
"We have asked the officials many times, but all that they could say is 'it will be renovated and cleaned in a week' but nothing ever materialises," a resident who lives beside the park told TNM.
Parents do not let their children into the park as there is a threat of snakes. Y Merikamala, a senior citizen whose house is adjacent to the park, said, "Five years ago, they said that it will be a hangout spot for locals. Now, it became a perfect hangout spot for stray animals and snakes."
"The park used to have a contract attendant who used to maintain the park well. She used to crop and water the plants, but she left the job saying officers were not increasing her pay," she added
Another resident, K Manemma says, "They will come for house taxes irrespective of the size of the house, but they never bother to look after these problems. This is also becoming a breeding ground for mosquitoes, and as a result, people are falling ill".
However, officials say that they weren't informed about the management of the park.
When TNM contacted Municipal Superintendent Engineer (Works) P Adiseshu, he said, "We were not informed about the situation of the park. If the concerned wing which looks after the park management approaches us any renovation or development plans, we are ready to take up the matter with higher ups and solve it. "
Vijayawada Municipality Horticulture Officer Pradeep Kumar said "We were not aware of this particular issue. As per our supervisorsâ€™ reports, all parks are looked after well."
Pradeep assured to look into the matter and said that now that they have learned about the condition, their office will initiate necessary action to sort out the problem.