A la Srinagar in our own Sri Nagar

Sri Nagar on the New Natham Road is not an exact replica of Kashmir's capital except for some level of serenity perhaps. True to nature's law – old order giving way to the new - the paddy fields have disappeared over the years as concrete invaded the area.

Residential plots started coming up during the mid 80s. “It used to be like Srinagar as every house was surrounded by greenery and pools of water,” recalls R.Shriman Sundarsingh, president of Sri Nagar Makkal Nala Sangam.

In early 90s, the residents named the area Sri Nagar given the calm and peace around. In 1992, they also formed Sri Nagar Residents' Welfare Association that worked for five years. The association became defunct in 2000.

For unity

In 2007, the residents formed a new association and rechristened it Sri Nagar Makkal Nala Sangam. “The sole aim of the sangam is to remain united and work for the development of the area,” says K.Gopal, secretary. The association has taken steps to provide street lights wherever necessary.

Earlier, the association collected Rs.30 from every house for maintenance like garbage collection and security. As it was tedious to collect money from door-to door, now the association collects annual subscription of Rs.100 while allowing the garbage collectors and guards to collect their wages from the residents directly.

The nagar comprises around 500 houses in its 40 streets that are named after rivers of Tamil Nadu. The three main streets are Vaigai, Cauvery and Tamirabarani. Each main street has 10 sub streets while Tamirabarani has six streets. Besides, the area also has Narmada Street, Mullai Street and Annai Theresa Streets.

As flanked by tanks namely Kanakkankulam and Naganakulam, water level is reasonably good but the salinity level remains high. In earlier days, water was available within 10 feet. Now it has diminished to 120 feet.

“Now the association is on another mission – to construct a walkers-way around Naganakulam tank similar to that of Vandiyur tank besides desilting the tank,” says V. Gopalakrishnan, treasurer.

The association is also pursuing to get better roads, underground drainage and drinking water facility.

Apart from all these, the residents are happy over the land value which is always on the rise as the area enjoys close proximity to both old and new Natham roads. The area has two schools, hospitals, shopping complexes and a decent hotel to cater to the resident's shopping needs.

As it is nearer to the main roads, transportation is not a problem at all.