Sharjah playground closes down and dismantled over child safety fears
SHARJAH // A children’s playground close to busy roads in Sharjah city has been closed down and dismantled over fears it was unsafe.
Parents raised concerns with authorities about access to the popular play area on Bank Street in Al Guhwair, with children having to cross three roads to get to and from the park, and requested it be relocated to a safer area away from traffic.
“This is a very busy area. It is a commercial area connected to a main road and two other internal roads,” said Alya Abdullah, who lives in the neighbourhood. “Almost on all sides the children would be faced with a road and cars and that is not a safe place for the children to play from.
“The best thing the authorities could do is to find a safe and quiet place not surrounded by roads for our children to play.”
Muntasir Kadar said he was always afraid a child could be involved in an accident because so many youngsters played in the area every evening without the supervision of parents.
“You would see them crossing the roads and would get scared. What if some car fails to stop?” said the bank employee.
“Children are not like adults and you cannot rely on their judgment of traffic to cross the roads. The place was a danger to them and even to the motorists because running down a young soul can be so painful.”
Marwan Al Serkal, chief executive of Shurooq, the investment arm of Sharjah Government, said the playground was originally part of a former Sharjah Biennial cultural event and had been designed to give families visiting the emirate, as well as residents, a place to relax.
“The problem is that most parents were leaving their children on their own, and considering the locality of the place this was very dangerous,” he said. “Because of that, Shurooq, together with the municipality, has chosen to close down the area.”
Hanan Jassim, director of the events and parks section at the municipality, said one of the conditions for building children’s play areas is that they must be away from roads and comply with all standards of safety.
“There are always small accidents occurring in cases of children playing, but once the safety procedures are in place these minor accidents would not risk the children’s lives,” she said.
“What we ask from parents is to keep an eye on their children as they are playing, especially the young ones of 3 to 9 years.”
Updated: March 20, 2014 04:00 AM