Activists call for better maintenance of parks

Members of residents welfare association and civic activists demand better maintenance of Chennai parks and also that they should be open for longer hours in the evenings.

“The prevailing hot conditions, power cuts and voltage fluctuations have led to the city parks getting crowded. These parks are the only cost-effective havens during summer and we want more facilities in corporation-maintained parks,” said a group of residents who recently convened at the Ripon Buildings to share their thoughts and suggestions with Chennai mayor Saidai Duraisamy and corporation commissioner D. Karthikeyan.

“Most of these parks are closed by 7 pm and a few prominent ones are closed by 8.30 pm. It will be better if the parks are kept open till 9.30 pm during summer. People would prefer a walk after dinner,” said Mr M. Krishnan of T Nagar.

According to former mayor M. Subramanian, parks were given priority considering the public demand. Parks set up opposite the secretariat and below the Perambur bridge were instant hits during the DMK regime. But it is annoying to witness these parks being deprived of maintenance.

The park opposite the secretariat has not only lost its greenery but even the names of former CM and deputy CM are missing from the foundation stone, he alleged.

Ms Vijayalakshmi, a senior citizen and a resident of Nungambakkam, said there was a need for better toilet facilities and drinking water in corporation parks. Corporation officials should periodically inspect these toilets and ensure hygiene at public places.

Reacting to the issue, corporation official sources said that the residents who attended the meeting under the banner Namathu Chennai Namathu Porupu had shared their ideas and that the mayor instructed the participants to share their views in writing. The pick of their ideas would be under active consideration, sources added.

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