Chennai: rubble, poor maintenance of parks | Chennai news

CHENNAI: It has rained very little in the past two days, but most of the city’s parks have been closed to residents due to lack of maintenance and debris.
Waterlogging, fallen trees, broken equipment, and shabby maintenance are a common sight at Nagewara Rao Park in Mandaveli, Independence Day Park in Nungambakkam, and Sivan Park in KK Nagar.
Instead of cleaning up and opening the parks after the wet, contractors who take care of the public facilities have locked them down. Some of these parks are run by charities, businesses, and nonprofits.
There are 702 parks in the city, only 54 of which are maintained, according to the Greater Chennai Corporation. Around 554 parks were outsourced to contractors in 2019, and citizens had claimed to have earned 1 Cr in revenue from playing fields alone.
The remainder are maintained by contractors and housing welfare associations. “In the southern region, 323 of the 330 parks are open. Only seven have closed due to water congestion and tree fall problems. This will be cleared and opened to the public on Monday. Only two in the central region have closed,” an official said.
In reality, however, several parks are not open to the public. Rekha S, a resident of KK Nagar, said she had visited Sivan Park twice in the past two days. “They didn’t let us in. The guard said they still had to clean up tree debris … they were worried that some branches might fall on walkers, ”she said. Another common problem in most parks is the stink that emanates from poor maintenance of the toilets after the rain. In Nageswara Rao Park, the stench from toilets was unbearable due to water jams, said a local resident.
The parking maintenance contract was awarded to a single contractor in 2019 for a period of five years. There have been many problems with the way the tender was awarded and how these parks work among contractors. Although they were supposed to use three sweepers, two guards, and other personnel in most parks, it was not done.
“That was one of the reasons more residents were asked to come forward to adopt parks. We had received many requests, but then the pandemic struck. We will look into that,” said an official.

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