CHENNAI: It has been five years since the lone community hall meant for residents of Kannagi Nagar and Ezhil Nagar was converted into the Thoraipakkam police station in 2011. At the time it was meant to be a temporary modification to the community hall until a new place for the police station was found.
However, the quest for a community hall has become one of several issues Kannagi Nagar now faces. To residents of a slum resettlement colony with the majority of populace belonging to the low-income group, a community hall is essential for social occasions.
“Those who are well off can afford to rent out halls. What will people like us do?” asks S G Perumal (42), a Kannagi Nagar resident. Perumal asserts that this is the reason why most families celebrate functions in-house or set up shamianas on the roads. Unlike other neighbourhoods, where a police station in the vicinity creates a sense of relief, the police station here is viewed with suspicion.
“We are harassed by policemen when we return late in the night. They threaten us saying they will book petty cases against us,” S Daniel, a painter living in Kannagi Nagar told Express.
This is increasingly becoming a common complaint among residents - that they are subject to harassment by the police who target them and sometimes frame them for crimes that are committed in apartments dotting the IT-Corridor off Kannagi Nagar. Senior Police officers, when asked, say they are not aware of the issue and will look into it if residents approach them.
Not the lone cause of worry
Lack of a community hall might not be the most immediate of our concerns when we consider the non availability of drinking water, transport facilitiesand other essential services, says Anand, a cab driver.