An empty plot in the heart of the city is very hard to find these days. But the one at Tambaiah Reddy Extension is an eyesore and a constant irritant for the nearby residents. Once on the land stood a school and the place was very serene to live in. Later, the building was raised down and has remained vacant ever since. The residents are not sure to whom the plot belongs to, but have found out that it is owned by a group of people and there are some legal issues pertaining to it. The land is covered only with a flimsy asbestos sheet, which during strong winds fall on the road becoming a threat to pedestrians and vehicles.

Says Chandrashekar, a resident whose house is next to the plot, “Two years ago a small opening was made in the asbestos sheet which made the land easily accessible to the public.” Today, people come and use the land for open defecation, causing fear of diseases among the residents, and the stench, they say, is unbearable.

With a TASMAC within 50 metres from the land, evening time has become an ordeal for the residents. “After 6 p.m. people buy drinks from the wine shop and consume it in the vacant land. They shout and use offensive language. It is a great task to ask them to go away.”

With many senior citizens and women living in the apartment next to the land, the residents fear for their safety and peace.

“Few days ago the land was used to give annadanam to people when the pontiff of Sringeri Math visited Chennai. That was the first time in years that the land was put to any use,” Mr. Chandrashekar said.

The residents want the owners concerned to appoint a security on shift-basis so that the land is not used by miscreants.


City PulseSeptember 24, 2010

Chennai City ColumnsSeptember 24, 2010

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