I decided to start by saying that the following images are ‘shocking’ in nature but then decided that the audience would not think they are shocking in fact. I thought they are shocking because of the sheer neglect by the Municipality of Jammu. But then I also thought, that I am writing this for an audience of Jammu and Kashmir and more specifically, the audience of Jammu. Why I am making a reference to my Dogra brethren in this particular way is because We in Jammu just do not care. My own people from Jammu would not complain about any darned issue even if our hard earned money goes as taxes which in turn are for the betterment of society on the whole.
The park in these images is the Hiranand Municipal Park in Channi Himmat’s Ward 51. The park barely stretches over the length of 50 metres by 10 metres and has so many issues some of which are actually a threat to the health of those living in its vicinity.
ISSUE NUMBER 1: Why make a park if you do not want people to enter it?
As is visible in the images, there are just two gates to this joke of a park. If the municipality were to be asked, why did they even make this park with just a single path-for-walking? The benches for instance could have been placed at the centre instead of putting the path and the boundaries could have been made the path such that more than two people could actually walk in it at a given time.
I am sure if we are to ask why there are no gates to this few years old park, the Municipality would return a NO FUNDS answer. Why use Barbed wire then? The barbed wire does not serve any purpose. It barely acts as a gate to stop the stray and even rabid animals from entering the park for one. Second, it tears the clothes of any other people who try entering.
ISSUES NUMBER 2 and 3: Why not place garbage cans instead of making a park; THE DRINKING MENACE
The next four images give you a glimpse of how this park is frequented by those occupying the nearby Jhuggis as their nightclub or open-air bar. Packets of cigarettes, beer cans, packets of frooti (local made liqour) can be found at any place in the chotu park.
ISSUE NUMBER 4 and 5: No accountability of stolen grills; Stray animal haven
The locals allege that the grills have been ripped apart by those who drink in the evenings probably to make an entry since the entry is BARB WIRED. There is no accountability to if the grill was sold off by the miscreants for quick cash.
The unchecked grill space is open entry to stray dogs and now even cows have started visiting this park. It is just the locals that this park was actually made for who do not visit the park. IRONY!
ISSUE NUMBER 6: WHERE IS THE CHAIR BUDDY?
Ok, so I know that you can spot the chair in the image and this park has about four of them. But can you see the whole chair? There is no maintenance of the wild grass and plants growing in this space. This is another reason why the locals do not go the park.
ISSUE NUMBER 7 – The water problem
The first image does not show you what the issue here is. Go further down and you can see the filth that there is in the water tanks that are supposed to provide water to the whole locality. The water tank has no removable lid and all the litter from all over the place simply makes the tank its home. If it is not flying in, things are actually dumped into it making it a water hazard.
This unfit for consumption water further goes to the houses that come under its purview. Will you drink it?
Atleast, one thing is clear from these pictures, things are not meant to be in this way and it is US who do not complain against them. Our NOT protesting is the SHOCKING part. Parks are made for us as part of health programs. When such ill-planned parks are in place which are not maintained at all and actually can be reason for major Health hazards stemming out of water, it is a matter of grave concern.
Dear Citizens, are you listening? More importantly, Dear JMC, are you listening?
Spread the word! Let us claim what we have a right to. Parks are paid for by us in taxes, they are not a gift!