New playground now in sorry state

National 2 minutes, 7 seconds

BELAIT

A DILAPIDATED playground with facilities vandalised have left residents of the National Housing Scheme in Panaga seeking answers and solutions to fixing the eyesore.

Expectations for a quick-fix falling onto the authorities shoulders, residents point to lack of maintenance and upkeep as well as reckless youths as the cause of its sorry state.

Community members when interviewed by The Brunei Times yesterday were disappointed that the playground, less than five years old, had already been damaged by alleged vandalism.

“There is no way the park could have damaged that quickly, with parts breaking into separate pieces by just the weather, considering the park is only as old as the 2011 National Housing Scheme,” said Hj Julaini Arif, who was flying a kite near the playground yesterday.

Agreeing with his statement, Hj Julaini's friend elaborated that the playground began to fall apart, and its structures rendered completely unusable mid last year.

“I suspect it was damaged by groups of youth, but I will leave the authorities to decide or investigate what really happened,” said his friend who asked not to be named.

Another resident said the amenities were built with good intention – to provide residents with recreation outlets – but claimed the lack of attention by the authorities for its upkeep has defeated the purpose of it being built in the first place.

“If you build a playground then leave it completely unattended without coming to do maintenance, what do you think will happen?

“I would not let my children play in a playground with structures that are not regularly checked. There is no way of knowing if it is safe, especially if it has been vandalised,” said a resident who asked to be named as Redzuan.

The playground along Jalan Keruak seen yesterday was in dire state; its main slide had been broken into separate parts, swings stations were missing seats and the badminton court's nets were torn. Only the futsal court remained in use yesterday, with residents parking their cars at the end of the nearest simpang to the site, as there is no access road connecting the court or the playground to the main roads.

The Penghulu of Seria Hj Jamail Hj Linap said that a formal letter seeking for assistance to repair the playground had been sent to the Housing Development Department last year, but no positive response has been received to date.

The Panaga National Housing Scheme, often referred to by locals as 'Panaga 2000' for the number of houses built under its scheme, was first handed over in 2011.

The Brunei Times