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Soon, girls to have separate playgrounds

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The Hindu              08.01.2014

Soon, girls to have separate playgrounds

Aloysius Xavier Lopez

The Chennai Corporation, in a somewhat controversial initiative, will soon build separate playgrounds for girls in public parks.

The response to this had been mixed, with some welcoming the creation of play infrastructure, and others criticising the civic body for the segregation of children.

The design for the first such facility in Kodambakkam with separate enclosures for girls and boys has been prepared.

At least 11 grounds of land, in the total area of 33 grounds, will have a badminton court, volleyball court and shuttle court exclusively for girls.

The piece of land adjoining the girls’ playground will be earmarked for boys. This plot will have a well-designed football ground, volleyball ground and basketball courts for boys.

However, both boys and girls will have access to a separate landscaped park that will also be developed on the plot. Students of schools in the neighbourhood will be able to use the facilities with trainers.

“We welcome the move to create separate playgrounds for girls. Such facilities will promote sports among girls in each neighbourhood. Teenagers will be able to practice without any fear of harassment. We are planning to ask for more such playgrounds for girls,” said A. Ezhilarasi, a Corporation councillor from Ennore.

“Generally, we don’t see girls playing sports at most of the existing Corporation playgrounds in the city. Girls from wealthy neighbourhoods access playgrounds maintained by private agencies. This move will ensure all girls have access to playgrounds,” said M.M. Babu, a councillor in Saidapet.

“Certain games are very popular with girls while others are popular with boys. However, this move will not help in the overall development of a child’s personality. If the Corporation is developing separate playgrounds with a vision of just separating boys and girls that needs to be condemned” said P. Manorama, former chairperson of the Child Welfare Committee.


Sithannavasal gets a Rs. 2-crore facelift

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The Hindu              07.01.2014

Sithannavasal gets a Rs. 2-crore facelift

makeover:A new welcome arch has been erected at the entrance to the temple.
makeover:A new welcome arch has been erected at the entrance to the temple.

Sithannavasal, a tourism destination known for its Jain cave temple and paintings, has got a facelift – thanks to a slew of developmental works executed at the sprawling space outside the temple. The temple comes under the jurisdiction of the Archaeological Survey of India.

Tourism development programmes have been executed for the past four years in a phased manner with funds sanctioned by the Sithannavasal village panchayat, (Rs.55.64 lakh), general funds of the Annavasal panchayat union (Rs.77.65 lakh), Town and Country Planning department (Rs.13 lakh), Tourism department (Rs.59.86 lakh), and through the Viralimalai MLA Local Area Development Fund (Rs.16 lakh), according to sources.

While a few existing facilities such as boat jetty, musical fountain, and children’s park have been revamped; a new welcome arch has been erected at the entrance to the temple.

Speaking after inaugurating the facilities, S.P. Shanmuganathan, Tourism Minister, said that the development works ensure that the Jain monument receives a steady stream of tourists. The number of international tourists visiting the spot has also increased over the years. A sum of Rs.3.11 crore had been allocated to Pudukottai district for various tourism promotion projects.

C. Vijayabaskar, Minister for Health, said that the tourism development programmes aimed at sensitising youth to the importance of our history and culture. About Rs.2.24 crore had been spent for tourism-related programmes at Sithannavasal, he said. N. Subramanian, Minister for Adi Dravidar Welfare, said the State government attached priority for promoting tourism in the State. A new tourist office would be set up in Pudukottai for which a site was being identified, said Collector C. Manoharan who presided over the function.


New bus stand to get a facelift

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The Hindu              07.01.2014

New bus stand to get a facelift

getting ready:The work of laying concrete platforms has commenced and the bus stand will be an all-concrete-road one.— Photo: M. Moorthy

Rs. 1.17-crore project taken up under Special Centenary Funds

The new bus stand improvement works taken up by the Pudukottai Municipality at an outlay of Rs. 1.17 crore through the special centenary funds sanctioned by the Chief Minister are expected to be completed in the next three months.

The work of laying concrete platforms and bays has commenced and the bus stand will be an all-concrete-road one. The drainage channels around the bus stand would be cleared, and construction of new toilet blocks forms part of the project.

Apart from the special centenary funds, the municipality would allocate Rs. 25 lakh from its general funds for the maintenance of buildings at the bus stand, said S.A.S.Sait alias Abdul Rahman, Municipal Chairman (in-charge).

G.Arumugam, councillor of Congress party, raised the issue of limited number of bus bays (49) at the municipal council meeting held here on Monday. Adding two more bays would upgrade the status of the bus stand into ‘A’ grade which would pave way for increasing the revenue through hike in toll fee from buses being operated at or through the bus stand, he said. Mr.Sait said that two additional bays have already been constructed.

The municipality had also planned to expand the new bus stand which currently operates in an area of 4.99 acres. The proposal was to takeover the nearby Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation depot along with its approach road. The municipality has sought the district administration’s assistance in getting the depot land. The Collector, in turn, wrote to the TNSTC and transport department officials in Chennai for transfer of land.

The Collector also assured 10 acres land in Machuvadi area in the town in lieu of the depot land and a site was also identified. The proposal is still under the consideration of TNSTC, Mr. Sait said.

Referring to the functioning of the temporary bus stand on the sprawling ground on Dheerar Sathyamoorthy Salai, he said.


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