DHARMAPURI: A popular park beside the Ramakkal lake in Dharmapuri town badly needs an overhaul. Residents urged the municipal administration to take steps to renovate the 10-year-old park.
Now broken pavements, trash heaps, overgrowth of vegetation and foul smell discourage people from visiting the area. Drunkards frequent the park and discard bottles and glasses, adding to the accumulated trash.
Speaking to TNIE, S Lenin, a resident of Dharmapuri, said, “Ramakkal Lake occupies an area of about 202 acres. The lake is frequented by dozens of varieties of birds during the migration season. A large number of people gather here to get a glimpse of the rare variety of birds. However, over the past few years, the nearby park has lost its charm owing to gross neglect by the authorities. It has been ten years since any major works had been undertaken in the park.”
The Dharmapuri administration set up the park at the cost of over `25 lakh. R Munisamy from Hale Dharmapuri said, “The Ramakkal Lake and its park have turned a haven for drunkards. Anytime, be it day or night, the park is occupied by them. The accumulation of plastic cups, liquor bottles and food waste is distressing to passers-by. We can’t take children here.”
P Sugumar, another Dharmapuri resident, said, “Shortly after the Covid-19 pandemic, the district administration had assured that steps would be taken to improve the lake infrastructure by strengthening the bunds, fixing the damages, planting more trees and setting up a garden. However, no efforts have been made so far. The Public Works Department should take steps to ensure that the encroachments are also cleared.”
The lake has also deteriorated and now it emanates a foul smell due to the broken filters, Sugumar added. Municipality Commissioner P Bhuvenshwaran was not available for comment. “Previously, a drive had been conducted to clear the encroachment around the lake and improve the water storage capacity,” PWD (WRO) officials said. They assured to look into the matter.