Soon, a butterfly habitat and wall paintings to beautify a street along Chennai’s Buckingham Canal

The wall is being painted with different themes, including the history of the canal, different native species of butterflies and a selfie spot   | Photo Credit: B. Velankanni Raj

For decades, Kalvivaru Street along the Buckingham Canal in Mylapore, has been an eyesore with haphazardly-parked vehicles and debris, and a strong stench of urine. However, the Greater Chennai Corporation has started beautifying the stretch with wide pavements and painting the retaining wall, and will also set up a butterfly habitat along the canal.

Kalvivaru Street runs for 400 meters and connects Kutchery Road and Mundakakanni Amman Koil Street. Many motorists use the stretch instead of using Royapettah High Road. There are many residential complexes ,and a CBSE school on the lane. “There were a lot of encroachments on the street, especially abandoned vehicles. The Greater Chennai Corporation also turned a blind eye towards the dumping of debris along street. Many anti-social elements used this as a cover to drink and create a ruckus. It was unsafe for women,” said Geeta, a resident of the locality.

A bad stench used to emanate from the area, and mosquitoes were a perennial problem. The street had become a public urinal. But six months ago, the GCC started laying wide pavements and constructed a retaining wall along the Canal. “We have set up a children’s play area on the pavement and we have plants along the canal bank to attract native butterfly species and we will set up a butterfly habitat. As of now, we are beautifying 400 meters and our aim is to do the same thing wherever there is space along the canal,” said architect Kavitha Selvaraj, founder of City Works, who designed the stretch.

Karam Korpom Foundation, which works towards the prevention of public spaces abuse, has also started painting the retaining wall. “We started painting the wall with different themes including the history of the canal, different native species of butterflies and we have also created a selfie spot,” said Uma Maheshwari, who along with her husband S. Shivakumar, has been carrying out the project.

However, residents wonder how the space will be maintained. “Such makeover projects are mandatory. Transformation though, has to be sustained through participation and involvement by residents along with civic authorities and the police,” K Viswanathan, secretary, Mylapore Residents Welfare Association.

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Printable version | May 6, 2021 7:33:49 PM |

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