Chennai

From a slushy pathway to a play area

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Years ago, the area between H Block 8 and H Block 9 at Kotturpuram Housing Board (a row of flats) used to be unhygienic. Not so anymore. Today, the area behind the two blocks is used by children to run and play chess and carom-board.

Thanks to the efforts taken by the residents including children, who in co-ordination with Ramky conservancy staff, completely transformed the area.

Speaking E. Vasantha Kumar, a resident of Kotturpuram Housing Board, who along with R. Gavaskar, an another resident, led the initiative, says, " People used to throw trash in the area from their (home) windows. During the rains, the place used to be slushy and slippery. Years ago, to beautify the area, we cleaned the trash and sludge from the area. The residents were back to square one throwing trash. This time, we roped in their children for the beautification effort.

Besides, as part of the beautification efforts, the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC),

Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board (TNSCB) and the residents too helped a lot. The GCC de-silted the rain water canal adjacent to the park (opposite the flats) to prevent flooding. Besides, the residents and the TNSCB repaired the damaged and leaking drainage pipes and the damaged manhole chambers with plaster. The pipes are connected to the manhole chambers, R. Gavaskar said.

The residents, along with the Ramky conservancy staff, cleared the area of garbage and the silt. Following the clean-up works, the children, along with the professional artists, Satish and Kutty, painted the walls and the manhole chambers and drew pictures.

Today, the area is a model place and is visited by people from all walks of life. Further, we have requested Alby John Varghese , regional deputy commissioner (south), GCC, to facilitate illumination facility. Earlier, in the absence of illumination facility, people used to consume liquor after sunset, Vasantha Kumar pointed out.

As a precautionary measure, a tube-light has been installed by R. Gavaskar.

Seeing the transformation work, Pattu, an another resident of Kotturpuram Housing Board, has come forward to take the responsibility of beautifying the area between H Block 10 and H Block 11. Under the first phase, the area has been cleaned of trash and the silt. She has stacked loads of bricks and sand to carry out the repair works on the manhole chambers.

She has challenged us that she will do a better work than the one (work) carried out in the area between H Block 8 and H Block 9, Gavaskar says.

After cleaning the area between H Block 10 and 11, the children have not even dumped a chocolate cover, Pattu, says.

The RAMKY staff were very supportive and helpful. We welcome people, who can come and teach the children carom-board, chess, shuttle, karate and yoga, in the area. Besides, to prevent water from overflowing from the tanks on the terrace, the residents have put pipes from the tanks to their bathrooms,

The unhygienic situation was prevailing for 50 years. Now, the mosquitoes have reduced completely. We should take steps to keep our environment and homes clean, use cloth bags and dump the trash in the dust bins. Very soon, we will start to clean the area between H6 and H7. We expect to complete the beautification works in December, Gavaskar pointed out.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 4:13:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/from-a-slushy-pathway-to-a-play-area/article30060497.ece

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