Developed as a counter magnet to bursting-at-seams Mumbai, Navi Mumbai was supposed to offer every amenity and infrastructure that the metropolis doesn’t. Sadly, the ground reality tells a different story.
CIDCO, the developing authority of Navi Mumbai has hardly drafted any open playgrounds for residents. Instead in the name of playgrounds, plots have been allotted to schools and are located inside their premises. This means playground users cannot enter there while the school is in session. They are left with the only option of gardens and parks. But here too they are not allowed to play games like football, cricket, etc. because it destroys the greenery of parks.
When the administrating authority NMMC came into existence, residents’ hopes were raised. But to their surprise this corporation too followed CIDCO pattern and hardly developed any playgrounds and focussed only on developing gardens and parks.
Santosh Dhemre, resident of plot No 18 at Sector 4A, Kopar Khairane says, “There is a garden adjacent to the petrol pump in our area but kids are not allowed to play games like football there so they play on streets outside the park”.
Dhemre adds, “Once the kids decided to play in the park but had to beat a hasty retreat when they were threatened to be beaten up by NMMC staffers”.
“As a tax payer I want to ask: Is this what we pay our taxes for? Our kids have no playgrounds to expend their energies and are threatened if they play in park. They are forced to risk their lives by playing on road amidst chaotic traffic,” says Dhemre.
Umesh Prabhale, resident of Nerul says, “Due to unavailability of playgrounds youngsters who have bundles of energy get diverted towards unlawful activities. The concerned authorities must provide at least one playground each for three sectors in every node”.
—Jaspal Singh Naol