METRO PLUS

Truly a dream locality

Co-operation at its best: the Sanjaynagar children's park

Co-operation at its best: the Sanjaynagar children's park  

TWO PARKS — one for the general public, and another for children — were inaugurated last fortnight in Sanjaynagar. And a large part of the credit for this achievement goes the Sanjaynagar Residents' Welfare Association, which is doing its best to beautify the area. The association, set up in 1996, is becoming increasingly popular with residents and its membership has been going up with each passing day. "Nearly 100 families have come together to with the motto: all for one and one for all," says V. Satyamurthy, President of the association.

Improving civic amenities, assisting the Corporation in maintaining public parks, and providing security arrangements are the priorities of the association. "It costs us nearly Rs. 7,000 every month to maintain parks in our area. All members contribute to the fund," says Mr. Satyamurthy, with a sense of pride. The gardeners, interestingly, are paid by one of the members of the association.

Vijaya Balasubramaniam, an active member of the women's wing, says that the area does not face water shortage and sanitation problems. "The roads are also clean as they are swept unfailingly each day," she says. Women residents are also extremely proud of the relative safety in the area during night. "There is adequate security to ensure that women feel safe even late into the night," Ms. Jaya Raman, a resident and member, points out. "A few years ago, women could not venture out after a stipulated time. Now it is a different story," she says.

These privileges come with a set of duties, of course. They have to ensure that garbage is not thrown on the streets, data on blood groups of members is maintained, transport is ensured in times of need for the community, and that elders are treated with respect.

B.V. Rangaswamy, senior citizen and an active member of the association, believes that the neighbourhood is a pretty sight at night. "It is a fairyland, all lit up and well-maintained," he enthuses. Eighty and raring to go, his enthusiasm defies his age.

K.R. Niranjan, Deputy Commissioner, Development Corporation, is all praise for the concerted efforts of the association. "This is what private-public participation is about. They have been extremely persistent and dedicated in their efforts." Mr. Niranjan says that the annual cost of maintaining 245 parks in the City amounts to a staggering Rs. 27 crore. He points out that the Corporation cannot achieve its objectives without active community participation. "There can be no sustenance without community participation. What is the point in developing parks if they cannot be maintained?" he asks.

Mr. Niranjan points out that the association has not undertaken an easy task. "It is a task that requires detailed planning and legwork. The presence of professionals in the association is an indispensable asset."

The residents, in turn, are deeply appreciative of the concern the Corporation officials have displayed towards them and the action they have taken to address their problems. "The Corporation is extremely helpful and we share a wonderful relationship with them. Contrary to popular opinion, they have helped us out at every juncture," says Mr. Satyamurthy.

HARIPRIYA SRINIVASAN

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