The negligence of the DDA and the Delhi Police have reiterated the irony that projects in our country are often just developed on paper.
Essentially conceptualised to engage juveniles in games and sports, the grounds under the ‘Yuva’ scheme have become a subject for speculation. Now abandoned, these grounds were developed by the DDA over vacant plots and handed over to the Delhi Police.
However, the Delhi Police has neglected their upkeep. For instance, the sport ground under this scheme at Sector 9 adjacent to Dwarka South police station is an appalling reminder of the callousness of the authorities.
Though this ground was developed in 2012, the Delhi Police has managed to organise only one small sports event on it. Despite having the basic infrastructure, such as a plain level ground, a football goal post and volleyball posts, the ground has been fenced off for the last three years, and now it resembles a jungle.“Even in 2014, when the ground was accessible, the poles were damaged,” said SK Singh, a social worker and resident of Sector 8.
Picture taken in November 2014
Poonam Tyagi, a resident of Sector 9, and a social activist working with children, said, “I have not seen any activity organised by the Delhi Police. The Yuva ground was actually meant for the children of slums, who often have negative distractions. I cannot understand why the authorities have neglected it so utterly and closed it. It could have at least sufficed as a children’s playground.”
According to sources, 11 playgrounds were developed by the DDA across Delhi under the Yuva scheme. While one ground was developed behind the police station of Krishna Nagar, another one was developed in front of the Vivek Vihar Police Station.
Even in 2014 the field was accessible, though it was already showing signs of disrepair
The Yamuna Vihar MTNL Park, a stretch of Usmanpur behind the police station, Jasola Village behind the Jasola Sports Complex, Keshopur District Park and Nasirpur (near the waterbody) are some of the other places where these grounds are located. Besides these, Yuva grounds are located in Dwarka Sector 9, adjoining the Dwarka South Police Station, Sector 15 of Rohini, Swarna Jayanti Park of Sector 12 and Sector 25 behind Ryan International School.
According to sources, the total cost entailed in the development of the grounds was one crore.
Interestingly, neither the police department nor the local police stations are aware about the condition of these grounds. "It is an irony of our system that amenities are developed just to be flaunted on papers. One cannot forget the failure of the mini football grounds developed by the DDA,” a social activist rued.
Speaking on the subject, Atul Garg, chief engineer projects, DDA, said, “Let me take stock of the issue first. If the infrastructure of these closed grounds are in place, we shall take steps to ensure that they can be used again.”