The ground of Arignar Anna Arts College suffers from waterlogging during the rainy season, making the ambience unhygienic. The ground, maintained by the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu and dedicated to the training of national and State level athletes, requires urgent renovation. Many athletes are being deprived of their regular practice.
Athletes complain that the ground is also used by nearby residents to graze their cattle and their excreta causes a foul stench in the ground and some of the cattle are often tied to the median of the practice track.
Worse is the unauthorised garbage dumping near the ground. Even though the municipality had directed its staff to stop littering near the college premises, some of the municipal truck drivers, involved in disposing of garbage, are frequently caught breaching the municipal orders.
“The garbage stench is unbearable and when it rains, the ground becomes a breeding ground for infectious diseases,” said Saravanan, an athlete who practises at the ground daily.
Velmurugan, district athletic coach, said that as many as 61 athletes who had trained at this Arts College Ground had represented the district, State and nation in various events in different parts of the country and won many medals. “We forwarded a request to the SDAT to clear the waterlogging and pressed the municipal officials to take action to stop dumping of garbage and ban grazing of cattle inside the ground. They have promised to resolve the problems in two months,” Velmurugan said.