Hyderabad: The Khilwat playground in front of the Chowmahalla maPalace has been reduced into a parking ground.
A hub of hectic sports activity for the local youth of Mahboob Chowk, Shahgunj and Motigalli, the playground is being occupied by cars around the clock. At any point in time, one can find more than two dozen cars parked in the open ground.
Tourists visiting the Old City and shopkeepers park their vehicles on the Khilwat playground. Several local mechanics also keep cars here.
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“Earlier, local youngsters played football and cricket at the ground in the morning and evening. After the ground was converted into a parking lot by local leaders they have been unable to play,” complained Syed Shahbaz, a resident of Shahgunj.
“A good playground is converted into a parking arena for the benefit of a handful of people at the cost of the local population. The authorities immediately should take note of it and clear the vehicles parked on the ground. The very purpose of having a playground is defeated,” lamented Mohsin Khan, another local.
Regular public meetings were organized at the playground and after it got converted into a parking lot. Gatherings have been organized on the road, on the western side of the ground. However, during Milad-un-Nabi, public meetings could not be held there.
The GHMC has constructed a three-story building behind the ground and construction material has also been dumped there.