Chennai: At Fourth Avenue in Besant Nagar, near Adyar in the city, the main attraction of the broad and well-laid road had earlier been a park which was constructed in 2007.
Having been on the forefront of the campaign for its construction, Kamakshi Subramaniyan (90), is now deeply affected by its current plight.
From her apartment window, Kamakshi looks out at the dying stretch of greenery. Years ago, she enjoyed its lush view, that is now reduced to tiny patches of greenery due to lack of maintenance.
This has angered the activist who is also the co-founder of the civic initiative- Spark.
I spent eight years running after Corporation officials to get this park constructed here.
At each step, I had been an observer and made sure everything was was done properly.
“Earlier, this placed was highly misused. There was wild growth of plants, to the extent that a car was hidden behind it. There were animal carcasses and the entire space was used as a public toilet. After years of meeting Corporation officials, the park was built,” says Kamakshi.
Once it was constructed, the facility turned beneficial for nearby residents.
People were seen taking strolls, jogging, taking their babies on prams and more.
This did not last long. In the last four years, the condition of the park has been deteriorating. Since the contractor has not been paid for two years, the plants have not been watered. The fence too is broken at many places and the borewell needs repair.
“Seeing this, I felt I should sit for a dharna, as I have the support of the people,” she says.
A water lorry which comes here, sprays water on the fringes of the park and leaves, it is alleged.
Why should a roadside park on which lakhs of rupees have been spent, be neglected?- she questions, adding that officials have cited lack of funds for the same.
“There is no supervision of work. The garden needs to be attended to, as there is no periodic pruning and manuring. Unless a contractor is appointed, this cannot be solved,” she rues.
The Zonal Officer meanwhile, could not be reached for comments.