Cantonment Park, the new ‘public space’

Ananya Srivastava

Chennai, March 28: The construction of a Reverse Osmosis (RO) water plant, for the children frequenting the Cantonment Park at Pallavaram here will begin in two weeks, said Narayana Arvind Raj, Joint Engineer, Cantonment Board.

“We already have enough groundwater for the plant so we don’t require the assistance of the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewage Board [which provides water supply to the city]. We only await the relevant equipment,” he said.

About the challenges faced by the Board in constructing the park, he said, “The construction started eight months ago. It took two to three years for the development though. There was a cattle market here two years ago and because there was no scope for that business anymore, the employees were relocated to the Friday market, ‘Pallavaram Sandhai’. We then removed the bushes and leveled the place.”

At the inauguration ceremony Lieutenant-general R.K. Anand, Dakshin Bharat Area, promised to gift a television screen for the park, to which Arvind Raj said, “We only know about a sound system, and he also promised to donate Rs 5 lakh for the Neyam Centre in St. Thomas Mount Cantonment Board High School for Special Children [spastic, autistic and affected with Down’s syndrome].”

Sprawling with children and parents, there were walkers and people at the benches and bleachers in the park, and a heavy police presence outside the gate.

“In place of the useless skating rink, there should have been more trees and benches. There is not enough greenery inside the ‘park’,” said Ganesh, who visited it for the first time.

The state-of the art park, which cost Rs 1.5 crore, was inaugurated on March 21. It has an open theater with bleachers, a walking-jogging track, badminton court, and park equipment for children like swings and slides.

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