Shimla Ward Watch - Phagli: No parks, playgrounds, youngsters vulnerable to drug abuse : The Tribune India

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Shimla Ward Watch - Phagli: No parks, playgrounds, youngsters vulnerable to drug abuse

Shimla Ward Watch - Phagli: No parks, playgrounds, youngsters vulnerable to drug abuse

Vehicles ply on a road in Phagli ward of Shimla MC. TRIBUNE PHOTO: LALIT KUMAR



Tribune News Service

Navneet Rathore

Shimla, April 2

The unavailability of playgrounds in the Phagli ward under the Shimla Municipal Corporation (SMC) has been pushing youth towards smartphone addiction and drug abuse.

State govt yet to transfer land

There is a piece of land near Dhobhi Ghat, which is at present owned by the state government. A proposal to transfer the land to the MC has been sent. Once the land is transferred to us, a gym, park and community hall will be built on it. — Kalyan Dhiman, Ward councillor

Residents complain that the ward does not have any playground or park, due to which their children have no place for recreational activities. The situation turns worse during vacations as during that time, the children and youth do not attend schools and colleges and have no place to play sports. Many of the youth have been turning to drugs and kids are addicted to smartphones, residents complain.

A resident said many years ago, they used to go to the Phagli club for recreational purposes before its renovation, but now they could not go there as it had become the property of Central Public Works Department (CPWD). He added that people used to play badminton, chess, table tennis and other games at the club.

Tej Prakash, a resident of the ward, who also owns a shop here, said due to the unavailability of playgrounds and parks, children had nothing much to do. “They either get addicted to smartphones or are attracted towards drugs,” he added.

Prakash added that there was a time when most of the table tennis players of the town began their journey from Phagli club but now, due to the unavailability of sporting facilities, most of the youth here were “directionless”.

Pankaj, another resident of Phagli ward, said years ago, sports and cultural activities were regularly organised by people here, in which the locals used to participate with great enthusiasm.

Talking to The Tribune, ward councillor Kalyan Dhiman said the ward did not have enough land and a suitable place where a playground could be constructed. “If we are able to find a suitable location, the corporation will definitely build a playground for residents,” he added.

He said there was a piece of land near Dhobhi Ghat, which was at present owned by the state government. A proposal to transfer the land to the MC had been sent, the councillor said.

He added that a gym, park and community hall would be built on this land as soon as it was transferred by the government to the corporation.

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