Hyderabad: Sanjeevaiah Park, until last week, was a popular destination for city folks, especially young couples. But today it is almost a deserted retreat, thanks to government decision to convert it into a Children’s Park without creating any facilities for them.
“Slides are broken, the swing set is non-functional and the seesaw is damaged. Is that how a children’s park function?” asked Raghuveer, a father of two who had come to the facility with his children.
“I don’t see any couples involved in any intimate activity now. This I find as a relief. But this is not a place for children because they have nothing to do here. The public is not allowed to bring their own sports gear, not even a football,” he added.
Soon after the decision was made to ban ‘teenagers and young adults’ from entering the park by the Buddha Purnima Project Authority (BPPA) the number of visitors plummeted.
Now the park wears almost a deserted look.
“Anyone over the age of 14 not accompanied by children below the age of 14 will not be allowed to enter, the park,” says Chandran, a ticket collector at Sanjeevaiah Children’s Park
He continued, “Each day I turned down a request to sell tickets to about 800 visitors because of their new restrictions. This has resulted in a steep drop in the collection from Rs 12,000 on weekends to merely Rs 1,000 to Rs 3,000.”
“There are over 400 employees working in this park. We see less than 200 visitors in a day now. We have begun to worry about the future of our jobs,” said a worker.
“The park abutting Hussain Sagar is spread across 92 acres. It can be converted into one of the most visited places in the city. The government had made several announcements in the past but did little. What have they done to make this one kids friendly?” said Subodh Reddy, an evening walker at the park.
The owner of the only canteen in the park Vinay Kumar said, “I pay Rs 20,000 a month rent. My profit now is now down to less than Rs 300 a day as against between Rs 2,000 and Rs 3,000 a day. This is because there are no visitors as in the past.”