Downtown

Kottur park draws only a few visitors

SPACIOUS FACILITY, BUT WASTED: Most of the play equipments at this Corporation Park in Kottur Gardens are not in working order. Photo: K.V. Srinivasan

SPACIOUS FACILITY, BUT WASTED: Most of the play equipments at this Corporation Park in Kottur Gardens are not in working order. Photo: K.V. Srinivasan   | Photo Credit: K_V_Srinivasan

Parents do not allow their children to go to certain sections of the facility, reports L. Kanthimathi

The huge playground at Kottur Gardens could have been bustling with people. But it looks deserted, attracting only a few visitors. The reason is obvious: poor maintenance.



Heaps of dry leaves, twigs, plastic covers, food packets, cups, plates, bottles and burnt cigarettes are found strewn along the compound walls, on the walkway and on the play areas.



Faeces of dogs and cows that stray into the facility, also contribute to the unwholesome look.



This Corporation facility has an indoor stadium which remains locked for reasons known only to authorities in charge of it. “I come all the way from Kottupuram because our locality does not have any playground. Actually, I prefer the one near the bridge at Turn Bulls Road. The space is beautiful and safe but it is too far for me,” says Amudha who frequents the park with her daughter and niece. She does not allow the kids to go to one corner of the park where a ladder-like play equipment has been installed. That section of the park has a dense growth of shrubs and grass. Many other visitors to the park tend to avoid that corner.



“We always have an eye on our kids because they should not go there and step on the tails of dogs that lie there,” says another mother.



“All the swings are broken and need to be replaced. Not one of them looks usable,” says another parent.



“The major concern is that there is no watchman at the park,” says Saraswathy Ramakrishnan, a senior citizen.



“People buy food packets from near-by shops and come and eat the food here and throw away the leftovers and packets behind the benches,” says A.L. Murthy. Just as he pointed out, leftovers are found scattered behind the benches.



“Adolescents come here and create a racket. Whenever they play cricket, the ball is sure to hit someone. They drive their two-wheelers on the walkway and park them on the walkway. When we see these boys here, we just go away. Once they were all drunk and created nuisance. Why should they be allowed here. This space is meant for children and walkers,” say a few women.



Behind the locked indoor stadium, there is a lot of space but no one goes there because it is overrun with grass and wild plants.



In the absence of beautiful, flowering plants and trees, the place looks barren, says Senthil Kumar, another visitor. “The place has to be swept regularly,” he adds.



The residents believe the space is being used in the night by alcoholics, because every morning they find bottles and cigarette butts.

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 12:03:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/downtown/kottur-park-draws-only-a-few-visitors/article6275031.ece

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