August 10th, 2017
Courtesy: The Times of India | Image Credit: Google Maps, Anuj Kala
The Delhi High Court has issued a stay order on the Delhi Development Authority’s decision to raze a 30-year-old children’s park on 9 August. The stay order from a bench of acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar came about a plea made by 7-year-old Navya Singh of Rohini Sector 8.
“DDA cannot convert a park into construction (sic).You are playing with taxpayers’ money. Imagine if your officer’s house is converted into a community hall or a wedding centre? Parks are parks. Do not turn them into community centres,” the bench said as reported by The Times of India.
The bench also wanted to know why was this Hanuman Mandir Park chosen for making a community centre, especially when the DDA had spent a lot of money in the same park to make an open gym.
The DDA was asked by the bench to file an affidavit by 18 September 2017 giving complete details about the case including that “of the people who can be accommodated if the community centre is built at the park, number of vehicles that can be parked and projections of garbage generated and provisions made for collection and disposal of garbage on account of use of the community centre, including the collection system and its disposal.”
The bench has also asked the DDA to provide them with information regarding the money that was spent in the open gym, the distance between the existing community centre, Maharaja Agrasen Bhawan, Sector 8, Rohini and clarifications relating to the need for the a community centre exactly at the same place as that of the park.
A notice has also been issued to the lieutenant-governor and the North Delhi Municipal Corporation on a plea seeking to restrain them from “destroying the park”.
7-year-old Navya’s petition filed through her advocate father, Dheeraj Kumar, talks of inefficient planning and wastage of money on the part of the DDA.
The petition has laid down how the authorities have steadily moved towards destroying the park by allowing encroachments by people and a huge Reliance Jio Mobile tower, removing several types of playing equipment of children.
It points out how the authorities have chosen to raze the park and not make use of a vacant plot of the DDA in the nearby area for building the community centre.
The Logical Indian community appreciates the decision taken by the court in this case. We also commend the 7-year-old who took the step of stopping the DDA from razing the park. It is important that we understand the importance of greenery and playgrounds in the concrete jungles that we stay in. Razing parks are not a solution for providing better amenities to people. The authorities need to consider the decision of the court seriously, look into the matter and take steps by the decision.