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RA Chandroo


Best from waste
Chennai gets a new place to hangout with the ₹42 crore Chetpet Eco Park

Chennai now boasts of a brand new outdoor water attraction and no, we are not talking about the Cooum. Spread over 16 acres of previously disused – and misused – land, the Chetpet eco park has brought to the city not just its first watersports experience of sorts, but also provided it a patch of greenery in the middle of a concrete jungle. While the key attractions are a boating section and another for sport fishing, there is also space demarcated for a park for children, a café, an auditorium, a parking complex and a jogging track, almost all of them ticketed. But making this eco park a reality was no mean feat, especially given that the land on which it stands was once filled with sewage and was used as an informal dumping ground. It took nearly ₹42 crore – and a reported nudge from CM Jayalalithaa to the state fisheries department – to get the project off the ground. She inaugurated the park – and a host of other public facilities – via video conferencing earlier this year, shortly before the code of conduct for the assembly elections in Tamil Nadu came into force. As poll planks go, nobody in scorching Chennai seems to be complaining.

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