Metro takes over R.A. Puram playground for phase II work

Changing landscape: Engineers checking a trench on R.A. Puram playground.   | Photo Credit: RAGHUNATHAN SR

Every morning at six, 18-year-old R. Ajay Kumar used to walk 3 km to Raja Annamalaipuram playground where he would do jogging for sometime. He would then play football with his friends. Not any more. He and his friends are now left scrambling to find other spaces in the locality, as Chennai Metro Rail Ltd. has taken over the playground for construction of an underground station as part of phase II project.

The playground, which attained an iconic status after the release of the film Chennai 600028, is now barricaded and will soon be filled with construction material. “We were deeply disappointed to know that the playground will be closed to facilitate construction work. Now, we are looking at alternative spaces but it is not easy. People like us can’t afford to travel long distance every day to practise,” he said.

B. Udhaya Kumar, an 18-year-old resident of Govindsamy Nagar, has been using the playground for seven years.

He said it was unfair to take over playgrounds for construction purposes.

“We tried to go to another playground in Pattinappakam but the problem is all playgrounds are crowded and we really can’t play a match or even go for a run. In COVID-19 times, the only recreation we have is to play here but now even that is stolen from us,” he said.

R. Chandrasekaran, founder of R.A. Puram Residents’ Association, said CMRL should look for another site. “From the phase I project, we have seen how long it takes for them to restore a playground or a park; they can take any other nearby building to store the construction material,” he said.

CMRL officials said the playground was about 8,500 sq m., which they will need for building the underground Greenways Road Metro Rail station. “After the construction is over, the station will be open to public, and we will restore this playground in good condition,” an official said.

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Printable version | Oct 16, 2021 4:40:39 PM |

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