Chennai: At Sivakamipuram Second Street in Thiruvanmiyur, a bunch of four boys are playing cricket on the road, even as a park right beside, is seen locked, for reasons unknown to residents.
The Dr Radhakrishnan Nagar, Marundeeswarar Nagar, Sivakamipuram, Malaviya Avenue People’s Security and Welfare Association, eventually looked into this issue.
“A few months ago, the civic body took up the cleaning and maintenance of the park. It was opened for two weeks and then again they locked it,” a resident said.
This 83-square-feet space is the only recreation spot in the entire area, for the 5,000 odd people living in the locality. While a section of the locals believed that the park is locked due to vested interests, others felt that the facility is encroached.
Speaking on this, the secretary of the association, Geetha Padmanabhan, said, “The park should either be square-shaped or rectangle, but this is oddly trapezium-shaped. It has been here for a long time, but was taken up for renovation only two-and-a-half-years ago, following an RTI.”
It is also devoid of any play equipment, and houses only benches and a tree. Praveen, one of the boys playing cricket nearby, said, “We want an eight-shaped pebble path and a slide to play.”
Adding to his opinion, another resident here, stated, “It is necessary for children to come and play. This recreational centre earlier used to be 120 square meters, now it is only 83 square meters, allegedly due to encroachment.”
However, an official of the civic body clarified, “It is a road side park on OSR land. Currently, it is vacant with no water or electricity connections. We have to renovate it with greenery or play items for those below 13 years. We do not want the place to be misused by anti-social elements until then.”
The official also noted that the planning and execution in this regard, would take place, post elections.
Photo: C SANTHOSH