Of 21.5 grounds only about 4-5% of land on surface will be used

Funds have been allocated for the restoration of the basketball ground on the Chennai Corporation playground on Venkatnarayana Road in T.Nagar, where the civic body has proposed to construct a multi-level underground parking lot.

Civic body officials said the consultants have estimated that Rs.22.5 crore would be required for construction of the parking lot. This is inclusive of the amount for restoration of the basketball court. The facility would be constructed in 18 months, after which the ground and court would be restored.

They said that of the 21.5 grounds only about 4 to 5 per cent of land on the surface will be used for construction of ramps, staircase and an elevator. “The entrance and exit to the facility have been designed on Kannadasan Road so that it is away from the basketball ground,” said an official.

Following a direction from the Madras High Court a public hearing was held in T.Nagar recently in which views of the public about the proposal were ascertained. A total of 45 persons spoke of which around 35 were for and eight against the project.

R.Govindaraj Joint General Secretary, Exnora International, said the Corporation must ensure construction within 18 months as they were disturbing a playground that is being used by residents.

“It has been proposed to have the entry and exit from the residential side. They must assure that there would not be any disturbance to residents because of this.”

A few residents said that children who used the basketball facility for regular practice would not be able to do so during the project duration.

The Chennai Corporation is yet to call a tender for the project, which proposes to create facilities to park 252 four-wheelers and 500 two-wheelers.

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Deepa H. RamakrishnanJune 28, 2012