Children hit the street to protect their playground at Malleswaram 18th Cross on Sunday. Protesting against Bruhat Bangalore Mahangara Palike (BBMP)’s road-widening plan, the children demanded that their playground and trees be spared.
Fifteen-year-old Shravan M had been playing in the locality since childhood. “He joined the protest to voice his concerns,” Malleswaram resident Pushpa Mahesh said. Among the protestors were those who have been playing at the ground for 35 years.
They said 7m to 12m of the ground and trees on one side will have to be given up if the road is widened. “Malleswaram playground has already shrunk since portions of it were given to the BWSSB, the CET Cell and a few educational institutions. Hundreds of people play cricket, football and other games here. Cricketers as young as 6 to 8 years practise at the nets. This ground is home to several sports clubs in Malleswaram. It is a public ground, which is accessible to all at no cost and benefits several people,” Vinay Sreenivasa of Hasiru Usiru said.
Section 8 of Karnataka, Parks, Playfields and Open Spaces Act clearly prohibits alienation of any portion of a playfield and also bars construction (other than those beneficial to the field) in playfields.a
At least 150 people including school-going cricketers, those playing football, local residents, students of nearby colleges, members of the Disc and Football Club and several others gathered to protest BBMP’s move.
Renuka Prasad of the Disc and Football Club and resident Meenakshi Bharath requested protestors to join hands to save the ground.
Children held placards that read ‘Makkalinda playground kadiyabedi (don’t steal playgrounds from children),’ ‘Say no to road-widening, save our ground’.
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