CHENNAI: Garbage piled up for over 30 years on the banks of Red Hills lake has finally been cleared to make way for a green park. The Navarikuppam Town Panchayat at a proposed estimate of Rs. 50 lakh is set to establish the park in two months' time, said Panchayat officials.
The space outside the lake was a huge garbage mountain with more than 10,000 tonnes of plastic and bio waste. However, two months ago, the Panchayat at a cost of Rs. 10 lakh beautified the area by removing all the waste in one sweep.
‘‘There were several mountains of ten feet height in the two acres area. When the Tiruvallur district collector Mageswari came across this two months ago, she immediately directed to remove the garbage,’’ said the official.
While 9000 tonnes of garbage non-biodegradable waste has been shipped to Andhra Pradesh through private contractors, 1000 tonnes will be recycled through biomining at a cost of Rs. 33 lakhs.
According to officials, the park will have walkways, playground equipment such as swings, merry-go-round, and slides. ‘‘It will have compound walls and gatekeeper to monitor the place so that no miscreant elements dump garbage or use it for wrong purposes,’’ said the official.
For setting up the park and planting trees, the Panchayat has requested the Water Resources Department some amount of sand from the Puzhal lake. ‘‘If they respond positively, plans are on to plant 30 trees saplings and various plants immediately,’’ added the official.
At the moment, the two-acre space has been cordoned by the Panchayat with a signboard requesting the public to not dump garbage in the area.
Public welcomes move
The local residents said they did not imagine a park would be coming in the place. ‘‘The garbage mountains were as tall as the ones in Kodungaiyur. Interestingly, the collector has taken some steadfast measures,’’ said V Lakshmy, a resident of Navarikuppam, which has more than 3000 residents.
Lakshmi said that all this time the locals were devoid of any public space for leisure walking and they only had to walk on the road, at risk of getting hit by motorists and buses. ‘‘Now we can take children also and it will benefit the community as a whole,’’ she added.
Gopi S, another resident said that the lanes adjacent to the Puzhal Eri used to be spooky and unsafe as the lane becomes less busy after 6 pm. ‘‘Now that the park is coming up, we can hope the area will be a bit secure once the park is functional,’’ he said.