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Residents look to the Mayor for redemption

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Empathetic to public grievance:Chennai Mayor Saidai Duraisamy addressing residents of AGS Colony at Kottivakkam, ECR, after inaugurating a renovated tennis court in the colony.Photo: M. Karunakaran
Empathetic to public grievance:Chennai Mayor Saidai Duraisamy addressing residents of AGS Colony at Kottivakkam, ECR, after inaugurating a renovated tennis court in the colony.Photo: M. Karunakaran

Residents of AGS Colony, a quaint neighbourhood in Kottivakkam off the East Coast Road, are piqued that despite the inclusion of their area in the Corporation limits about a year ago, much has not been done to improve certain amenities.

Their long-pending demand for laying of underground electricity cables to improve power supply and an underground sewage network remain unfulfilled. Some of the roads are also in a bad shape, needing immediate attention.

However, there is still hope as the residents were able to draw the attention of Chennai Mayor Saidai Duraisamy to their grievances when he graced the function organised by the Kottivakkam AGS Colony and Neighbourhood Residents’ Welfare Association to inaugurate a renovated tennis court inside the colony playground. What is more, the Mayor promised the members that he would do his best to speed up the process to redress their grievances.

AGS Colony was buzzing with activity on the morning of September 22 as the Mayor was invited to inaugurate the newly laid tennis court and badminton court. Accompanying him were S. Rajendran, MP; K. P. Kandan, MLA; P. Rajaram, Chairman, Division 14 of Chennai Corporation; and local party functionaries Meena Sekar, C. Kuppan and R.C. Kuppan.

Association president S. Ramanathan welcomed the large gathering and put forth the residents request to the Mayor to provide underground drainage facility to Ward 14, pipe lines for drinking water and underground electricity lines, which, he said, were burning issues for the residents.

Vice-president G. Sundaresan stressed the need to turn the colony into a gated community to put an end to the recent spurt in incidents of robbery and other crimes. Secretary K. Kasinathan submitted a memorandum to the Mayor on behalf of the residents outlining their needs — immediate drainage facility, improvement in sports facilities at their park such as provision of halogen lamps for the tennis court, screens for the badminton court, carrom boards and table tennis table for indoor games etc. Joint-secretary A. Ravichandran urged the residents to avoid plastic and refrain from dumping garbage on the road and into the open drains.

The Mayor, in his speech, sanctioned the sports facilities then and there and said that as for the rest, he would need some time.

Mr. Duraisamy appreciated the association and its members for their active interest in sports and said they should also be more aware of health issues.

The association organised a free health check-up camp, blood donation camp and acupunture treatment camp to benefit the colony residents and the public.

Later, speaking to Downtown, Mr. Ramanathan said the association proposed to appoint coaches for badminton and tennis.

He said the association had sought the Mayor’s help for laying a walker’s path in the playground. “The Mayor immediately instructed the corporation officials to do the needful.”

Mr. Ramanathan said there was an urgent need for the walker’s path as residents, including senior citizens, were now going to the Kottivakkam beach for exercise. “But crossing the ECR to go the beach has become a risky proposition and there have been several accidents too.”

He said the signal on ECR at the entrance to the colony was not functioning properly, leading to confusion and mishaps. There is a need to increase the time limit for the right turn for vehicles coming from Thiruvanmiyur, he added.

He said the association was pressing for underground drainage facility for the last 10 years, but it was yet to be done. He hoped that with the Mayor’s intervention, they would get the facility soon.

Mr. Kasinathan said overhead electricity cables caused a big problem in the neighbourhood.

“There is frequent power fluctuation and failure. The branches of road-side trees are not cut and the criss-crossing power lines are damaged, causing a fuse. During the rainy season, the wires get cut due to gutsy winds and fall into stagnant rain water on the road, leading to mishaps. We need underground cables immediately,” he said.

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