Chennai: The 4.38-hectare ornamental flower park at Madhavaram is in a shambles. The prime land located in western Chennai has seen several schemes during the DMK and AIADMK regimes, but none of the horticulture scheme has succeeded despite the state spending huge money since its formation dating back to 1980’s. A visit by DC revealed anti-social activities in the prime property worth over `300 crore and the public seating arrangements installed in 2011 had been looted.
According to horticulture department insiders, the farm was established to produce quality seeds and plants to be distributed to local farmers in Madhavaram. But with the farming activities pushed to extinction, the farm lost its objective. As on date, there are 56 state horticulture farms functioning in 22 districts and Madhavaram farm is the only such facility located in the heart of Chennai. The farm also served as a demonstration centre on the latest horticulture technology and farm mechanisation.
High yielding varieties and hybrids of vegetables and flowers were also raised in the farm till 2005, but later the project got a new lease of life when former DMK leader Veerapandi Arumugham was the agriculture minister and converted in to horticulture park. In 2011, the AIADMK regime mooted proposals to rejuvenate the farm by converting it in to an ornamental park, but for some reasons this project was shelved making the pristine area now a den for anti-socials. A highly placed official, when contacted, said he was aware of the abandoned park. The matter has been taken up with the higher officials with state agriculture department seeking their intervention. “We came to know that the horticulture department has failed to execute the proposal due to technical lapse by a contractor. The department is exploring a new module to renovate the park under which walk area and public interaction centre on farm activities are to be explored,” the official added.
“Madhavaram is a calm residential place blessed with lush green space this area should be renovated in to a park and the area can be a live laboratory on farming to nearby schools and if well maintained it can be even a week end hangout for Chennaiittes,” said S. Jayaraj, a resident of Bank Colony in Madhavaram. The state annually spends Rs 22.07 crore to maintain horticulture farms....