CHENNAI: Residents of Kannagi Nagar, the largest resettlement site in the city, want the community centre in the locality renovated and reopened. Built by Tamil Nadu Urban Habitat Development Board (TNUHDB) in 2001, the hall was closed three years ago.
Residents said it housed a police station between 2010 and 2019. When the station was shifted to a dedicated building in 2019, the hall was shut. "We have been requesting officials concerned to reopen the hall for our use," said Anbarasi, a resident. She said that Kannagi Nagar has over 1.5 lakh residents (15,000 families), most of whom are day labourers.
As the community hall is shut, they are forced to shell out more money as rent to private halls or use the corporation community hall in Karapakkam, which is four km away. "Also, it’s not easy to book the community hall at Karapakkam. We have to book it at least a few months before the function," said R Perumal, a labourer.
Residents of nearby Ezhil Nagar, which has 8,000 families (including victims of Tsunami), have a similar issue. According to the residents, their community hall, built four years ago, is being used as an office of TNUHDB for the past three years.
Ashwini Karunaa, councillor of ward 196, said she has asked TNUHDB to renovate and operate the community centre or hand it over to the corporation.