Govt sports centre ‘not welcome’ in Vasant Kunj

- July 14, 2023
| By : Rohan Chauhan |

Citing “security threat” and “issue of outsiders”, residents of posh Vasant Kunj colony are up in arms over proposal to create a sports complex for students in government schools

DIVIDED:Barricades separating the government plot from the colony

On June 14, a Vasant Kunj colony witnessed dramatic scenes as residents of Pocket A lay down in front of bulldozers in protest against construction of a sports facility in the area, as proposed by the city administration, for students of government schools.

The residents appealed for a court intervention and eventually managed a stay order on the proposal.

The proposal was to build a sports training facility on a property that was allocated to the education department in 1984, but has since been left unmanaged, turning into a dense forest. For now, it has been shelved.

Also read: Going out of stock

According to the residents of the colony, the project will cause “congestion” and pose a “potential security threat to them”.

Meanwhile, the parents of the children enrolled in the government schools have slammed “classist protests” and alleged violation of rights.

Gated society vs students

Bhanu Bishnoi, the secretary general of the Resident Welfare Association, Sector A, questioned the plan and said that it will lead to “chaos” between the residents and the students.

“We currently have 1,542 apartments, and if a sports complex is developed, hundreds more children will be swearing in daily, causing congestion on the streets and discomfort for everyone,” he said.

When asked about the several other business endeavours currently operating in the society, he said, “All these commercial institutes, including the three existing schools, were built when the population was not this high. Chaos will result from a sports training facility for both the locals and students.”

“You can see for yourself how crowded the roads are,” Bishnoi continued. “On a street this narrow, two vehicles cannot pass at the same time. Bus and van services will be used by some, and others may arrive in their own motor vehicles, which might possibly result in numerous incidents. The issue may be corrected if there is another way for students to commute,” he said.

LITTERED: Trash lying around on a land that is owned by the government due to inactivity

While “ecological preservation” was one of the major reasons cited against construction of the complex, the colony is littered with trash and damaged furniture. “The garbage you see is a result of a drainage system that was formerly present but now just shut down. It has to be fixed; once it is, the waste flow will resume normally,” Bishnoi said.

According to Amit Aggarwal, president of the Residents Welfare Association, the proposal will “upset the ecosystem”.

“Cutting down woods to open a sports facility is wrong because it upsets the ecological balance of society. Besides, hundreds of children will be here every day. Anyone can show up pretending to be someone related to them and cause security issues. Who will be held accountable if such incidents occur,” he asked.

“There are many other spaces that are vacant and are rendered useless, why don’t the authorities opt for those rather than making a sports complex in the middle of the society,” he said.

‘Harsh and unfair’

Dubbing the stay order “harsh”, Education activist Raju Sarkar said, “One should consider the purpose behind such a proposal – it is going to help a lot of children. Getting access to sports training today is a privilege that most of the underprivileged children are deprived of in our country and I don’t think these children will get a platform like this again.”

“The people who are fighting in the name of environment already have two to three vehicles parked in their garages, so one way or another you’re only harming the environment yourself. A sports complex will also have greenery surrounding it, so it will rather help the environment,” he said.

Other concerns were raised by the members of the society. Kavar Yadu Kumar, 80 a retired colonel, said, “The residents only have access to water for two hours each day. If any guests arrive, we have to buy water tankers to make ends meet. The road has not been maintained in the past few years and if the authorities build a sports training facility, that would also require water for basic services. How’s that going to be managed?”

“Essential amenities are not available to residents who have lived here for several decades. How can you claim to start a new institution and run it efficiently? If that is possible, we should also obtain all necessary amenities before relocating to a location like Vasant Kunj. Almost half of the people who live here are above 50. We use this area as a natural air filter, therefore, removing it might have negative health effects on a number of individuals,” he added.

However, Dishant, a resident of the society, believed that the sports complex, if opened to the residents as well, will be a “good touch” to the society’s overall betterment as there are no existing sports complexes or stadiums in the society. “It will be a good opportunity for the future generation as well,” he said.


The sports complex, if built, will cater to students from 1,200 government schools in Delhi.

A teacher, working at one of these schools, said, “Adequate sports and educational infrastructure is a right for every child, irrespective of their economic background. If the government is taking an initiative, then no one has the right to obstruct it. The land is allotted to the education department, they can use it as per their needs. If we want more children to excel in sports, then providing facilities is our responsibility.”

“Assuming that underprivileged children will be a threat to safety is outrageous. Private schools also crowd the area and cause heavy traffic. So, as a responsible citizen, one should understand they don’t have any right to stop developmental activities,” she added.

The mother of a child, who studies in the government senior secondary school for girls, said, “It could’ve been really beneficial for the children and that people should support its construction, particularly because they may not have the financial means to afford similar facilities elsewhere.”

“Wealthy families have the means to enrol their children in various coaching classes, activities, and competitions. However, economically disadvantaged families lack the necessary resources to do so. So, they have to depend on the government to provide these to them,” the 37-year-old added.

Twenty-six-year-old Agam, whose kin is studying in seventh standard in an MCD school, said “These residents might be concerned that children from less privileged backgrounds, who have limited resources, may outperform their own academically or in other aspects.”

She added, “Some privileged individuals may hold a stereotype that students studying in MCD schools come exclusively from slums. So, they don’t want our children to mingle with their lifestyles.”

Shankar, 32 who has three children studying in MCD school, expressed that not all are equally interested in academics. “Some may excel in sports. The necessary support and opportunities should not be denied to those who have the potential to flourish in the field of sports. This opportunity could’ve been added as a boost for children in any field, now they might be left behind and who is to blame for that,” he asked.

Patriot reached out to DDA for their comment on the matter but didn’t receive any response.