Corp to convert plot at Bethel Avenue in Velacheri to construct new playground

Chennai: One of the biggest needs of residents of Velacheri is a playground for children and adults to unwind, relax and play sports. After years of delay, officials have given the consent and have confirmed to convert a plot located at Bethel Avenue, VGP Selva Nagar, into a playground.

The land is an OSR (open space reservation) belonging to the Chennai Corporation, and on a regular basis, inspection by the civic body is happening here.

In the locality, many parks are available with play equipment, gardens and walkers’ path.

“VGP Selva Nagar and surrounding areas have a cemented playground for basket ball and some parks even have a badminton court. But children who want to play other games have to do so on the roadside. What the residents need is a proper, spacious playground for people to play any sport they wanted,” says Muthuvel, a resident.

Tansi Nagar Welfare Association secretary M Balakrishnan, informs, “I readied a petition to convert the park into a playground in 2017. The authorities acknowledged the petition and even gave consent. But nothing concrete took place, and it was never handed over to the residents. They cited lack of funds as the reason.”

At times, the land was used by the civic body to dump waste materials. Eventually, they built a compound wall, fixed a gate and even installed a light, but till now electricity connection has not been given, he said.

“Recently, I once again forwarded the petition to Corporation Commissioner G Prakash. And surprisingly within half an hour, the officers concerned spoke to me and visited the place and asked what residents wanted to be done at the spot.”

“The officials suggested that they would build courts for playing basket ball, tennis and badminton, but we asked them for a walkers’ path and to properly level the centre of the ground so that people can do whatever physical activity or sport they liked. We wanted Neem trees around the place and agreed to get the saplings planted and take care of them. We also requested the officials to fix a name board here,” said Balakrishnan.

Naomi N