Till a few years ago, 73-year-old N.T. Jayaraman, a resident of Vyasar Nagar in Vyasarpadi, would take his grandson to the nearby Corporation park for leisure.
His neighbour, N. Vasudeva Sharma too, would join him for morning walks. Some others went there for yoga sessions.
Today, the park on 5th Street, Vyasar Nagar, is in a shambles and home to miscreants and poisonous snakes. Lack of maintenance by the Corporation officials is to blame for the poor state of the park, residents say.
Now, they take a long walk to the nearest park beneath a flyover in Perambur, some three kilometres from the Vyasar Nagar park. “The park is the lone green space available to nearly 150 families in Vyasar Nagar and Shanthi Nagar. Children were really fond of spending time in the park,” said Jayaraman who was joint director of Employees’ State Insurance Corporation of India.
Spread over nearly 4,000 sq. ft., the park has a tiled pathway for walkers, children’s play equipment, seating arrangement and a compound wall with steel fencing. However, due to non-maintenance, the facilities at the park are now covered in thick bushes and the play equipment has rusted.
During the day, the park is home to miscreants who squat there. After sunset, drunkards and others throng the park and create nuisance.
Of late, passers-by have turned the park into an open toilet that has turned the public facility into an eyesore.
“Children are not allowed to walk on the footpath in front of the park due to the presence of snakes in the park. Instead, we let children play on the road under parental supervision,” says V. Chandrasekhar, another resident.
Repeated complaints to the Corporation officials and councillors of the local body have not yielded results, residents say. In January, residents of Vyasar Nagar and Shanthi Nagar submitted a petition to mayor, Saidai Duraiswamy, and to the Corporation commissioner, to renovate the park. But, nothing has happened so far. “Soon, a team from the zonal office will inspect the park and give it a facelift,” said a Corporation official.