CHENNAI: The bond between North Chennai residents and sports is an affair of the heart. Over the past decade, this legacy has become an inspiration to a great many people through art forms, including movies.
The state government had also come forward to recognise this legacy and announced many related projects for the region.
However, the youngsters and sports enthusiasts in Arundhathiyar Nagar in North Madras have been in low spirits for quite a while now. With the city corporation stopping the football ground construction on OSR land in Polleri Amman Street midway, hundreds of youngsters now have to shell out thousands of rupees to play at private sporting facilities.
Arundhathiyar Nagar, BNC Mill Quarters and North Town together house more than 2,000 families. Their joy had no bounds when the civic body began constructing the ground at Polleri Amman Street in Vyasarpadi in January this year. But, the works were stopped midway around six months ago. The ground is now filled with bushes and people have even started dumping wastes near the compound.
More than 500 youngsters in the area are actively involved in sports, said M B Arul, a football coach and the founder of Mettupalayam Arundhathiyar Nagar Football Club.
“Many youngsters here have also taken part in state-level competitions. At present, they train at private football clubs in neighbouring areas. Not many can afford this. So, a dedicated public facility must come up in Vyasarpadi,” he demanded.
The residents, meanwhile, urged the authorities to first restore the pathway to the ground and clear all the wastes dumped near the ground. C B Paranthaman from Arundhathiyar Nagar said no concrete action ensued even after multiple petitions were sent to the authorities. “We have submitted petitions everywhere, right from the zonal office to the chief minister’s special cell. The civic body must take immediate steps to complete construction of the ground,” he added.
However, officials from the corporation refuted all allegations of delay on their part regarding the ground’s construction. “All major works have already finished, and we will throw open the ground for public use at the earliest,” Thiru Vi Ka Nagar Zonal Officer A S Murugan told TNIE.