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  • Writer's picturesri venkateswara charitable trust

Santhome playground to become football field


When playgrounds in Chennai are fast disappearing and those

being used are in a deplorable condition, the Chennai City Greater

Corporation has decided to convert the abandoned Santhome

Beach playground on Marina Loop Road into a full fledged football

ground.


Around 1.20 Crore has been sanctioned from the MLA fund for the

construction of the football ground, says a proud Dha Velu,

Mylapore MLA.

Dha Velu says a gallery, children’s play area, senior citizens open

gym, and toilets are also planned on that one-acre of land.

According to residents, the ground has been there for more than

50 years

There was no compound wall. I remember playing on the ground

with my friends. Beach sand used to be there. In recent years,

people started dumping garbage and have turned it into a public

toilet,” said a Mylapore resident a former football player from

Santhome

The ground was once used for football. The rusted goal posts still

stand, with garbage piled all around. As this ground has remained

unfit for use, youngsters and football enthusiasts are forced to

practice on a small field in Foreshore Estate.

“We share space with cricket players. We have been providing

free coaching to youngsters in the locality to create state-and

national-level players. The new ground will be a blessing. But it

should not be restricted to players from one or two hamlets

alone. That sort of politics should not prevail,” said a resident.


Beach walkers said that a horrible stench emanates from the

ground due to open defecation “The work should happen quickly,

and a proper turf should be laid. Club matches can be held here,

and regular coaching can be provided for kids from fishing

hamlets,” said one among them.


Environmental activists say that the use of the ground at night

can be avoided. G Sundarrajan from Poovulagin Nanbargal said

that if it is a turtle breeding area, flood lights should be avoided.

“The construction of galleries should be considered based on CRZ

guidelines,” he said.

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