CHENNAI: Around 6 every morning, R Ganesan (62), after covering a short distance on his Honda Activa, parks it outside a nearby park. Once inside, he begins his five-lap brisk walking routine. For hundreds of people, Millennium Park, named after its inauguration year, 2000, is a must-visit for daily fitness activities.
Anna Nagar Western Extension Association (ANWEA) secretary P Vadivelu says the park, spread across 7-8 acres, is one of the major achievements of the ANWEA.
“The land was earlier encroached by undesirable elements, but we resolved to make it a useful space. Under a scheme by the then government, we developed the park for `6 lakh,” he informs.
Registered in 1976, the ANWEA looks after the welfare of over 5,000 residential units, several of which have been converted into multi-storey apartments. With neatly maintained avenue roads well lit by streetlights and a steady supply of drinking water, residents have little to complain about.
In the 1970s, when TNHB began allocating plots, even basic amenities were not available. The ANWEA was then formed with 10 members. Today, it has more than 750 life members. One of the first accomplishments of the association was obtaining relief from the Madras High Court against the arbitrarily hiked plot prices by the Housing Board. “Those who were allotted plots were asked to pay a price which was not mentioned at the time of allotment. Thankfully, justice prevailed through the court’s judgement,” Vadivelu recalls.
The ANWEA was recently felicitated as the Best Welfare Association for the second consecutive year by the Chennai Corporation.
The office-bearers cite the good rapport it shares with local officials as the main reason for its success. “Based on our experience, I would suggest other resident welfare groups take a positive approach while dealing with civic authorities,” Vadivelu adds.