The children’s playground at the coronation park in Changlimithang, Thimphu has suffered minor damages in its slides, which is proving to be risky for children.

One of the parents at the park, Jurmi Dorji said he came with his two-year-old son at the place twice a month. He said they go to the botanical park and sometimes to other playrooms. “This park is free for children and parents but if people take care of these facilities, it would last much longer.”

He said there were risks associated with cracks in slides as it could hurt and injure children. “However, we see a lot of older children play in these slides which do not have the strength to bear weights.”

Thrompon Kinlay Dorjee, said there was no report of damage in the slides. “One reason for the damage is because there are no responsible users. Even when signboards are fixed telling elders and older children to refrain from using these facilities, it does not happen. These parts then get damaged.”

He said that Care Bhutan, a social enterprise managed the park since 2017. “However, as there is no budget provided, maintenance cannot be done.”

Thrompon said that the plan to establish a children’s park near the clock tower square was on halt for the time being. “Development plans of Norzin Lam and clock tower are all in bits and pieces. Once we harmonise these plans, we would get a clear picture and have a better understanding for the possibility of a children’s park.”

He said that there was a plan to extend the public gallery for more space in front of the clock tower.

“It was around 2012 that the children’s park was installed. Even with maintenance, people won’t use it responsibly; we don’t feel that it is worth maintenance. There are several remains of the stations, which were damaged over the years.”

People had rebelled about caretakers speaking on damage of the stations, he said. “There is no possibility of monitoring as one cannot monitor all the people who come at the park.”

A 36-year-old parent, Rinchen, came to a children’s park at Olakha accompanying her three children. “My elder daughter was tired of staying at home. Here, children are engaged and I also get a break.”

These kinds of recreational grounds are almost never empty during the day, she said. “Children love playing but we need to ensure that they are okay because the moment we take our eyes off them, they are in trouble.”

She said that maintenance could benefit parents and children, as it would enhance safety.

Thrompon Kinlay Dorjee said the Tshodge has approved the plan to introduce entrance fee but it needs to be submitted to the finance ministry. “Currently, we have kept a fee of Nu 10 for adults and Nu 5 for children. The fee would be provided to Care Bhutan so that they can sustain.”

Thromde would carry out major maintenance works, he said.  “There is no budget right now but in 2019-2020 budget year, we will work on maintenance. In the 12th Plan, we have plans to build new parks.”

Rinchen Zangmo