Residents avoid parks due to ill maintenance, anti-socials
Chennai: People, especially children, flock to neighbourhood parks for recreational purposes and they frequent such places during summer after having spent a long sweltering day in the heat.
But residents of several areas in this metropolis have stopped visiting nearby parks as they have turned into tipplers’ den due to ill maintenance by civic authorities.
Though Chennai Corporation allotted Rs 127 crores for maintenance and development of parks in the city, nothing has changed on the ground. Visit by Deccan Chronicle to a few parks in Tambaram, Kilpauk and Otteri revealed the pathetic state of affairs.
“I used to go Anandapuram Park for karate practice, but now my parents don’t allow me to go there because people come there and drink openly. They fight among themselves and sometimes even hit others. This has made many people scared and even regulars have stopped coming there,” Rizwaana A, a resident of Park Street in East Tambaram, told DC.
Many residents from these areas say their kids have been forced to skip their evening playtime. They also said several people have started going for evening walk on the roads near-by since the parks are occupied by tipplers.
People avoid visiting parks that become an assembly point for drunkards, making it even worse for these places, as then it remains desolated. Geetha, a resident of Kilpauk Garden Police Quarters, says Lotus Garden Park in their area is not being maintained properly making it a paradise for tipplers. “They use offensive language and are an annoyance in the locality,” she said.
While residents blame Chennai Corporation for not maintaining the parks, officials from park department accuse residents for not cooperating with the authorities.
“Residents don’t help keep parks clean. Though we have dustbins in every street, people choose parks to dispose of the waste. And it is only then that tipplers gather,” said the official.
“The issues related to tipplers are not to be dealt by Corporation but by the police department. People should communicate these issues to local police,” he added. P. Ganesh, a resident of Perungalathur, said: “MGR Park serves as a dumping ground and lights have been usually damaged by anti-social elements. We cannot let our children play in such unsafe places.”
Residents claim to have informed the panchayat officials about these issues, but no action has been taken yet. When asked about this issue, Perungalathur town panchayat executive officer told, “I will personally look into the matter and communicate the issue to the collector about this problem”.