The Madras High Court on Friday ordered the Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) to stop felling trees at Thiru Vi Ka Park and to refrain from using heavy machinery between 8pm and 6am for constructing its underground community amenities centre at Shenoy Nagar metro station. The interim order was passed by Justice S Vaidyanathan, following a plea moved by 45 residents of the area, including a former judge of the court, Justice KP Sivasubramaniam.
The petitioners urged the court to stop CMRL or other agencies from carrying out any construction work at Thiru Vi Ka Park for the Metro.
As per the residents, the park which was established in 1951-52 and spread over 9 acres, was given to CMRL around seven years ago for building the Shenoy Nagar metro station. At that time, the CMRL had promised that the park would be restored to its original shape after the construction work. However, to the surprise of the residents, post completion of the station work, a tender was floated for constructing an underground amenities centre 21,000 sq feet below the park.
The petitioners moved court claiming that the authorities had not kept their word and that one of the oldest parks in the city had been totally destroyed. Meanwhile, CMRL plans to grow superficial foliage without any deep-rooted trees and develop organic greenery.
Due to construction of the amenities centre, CMRL was using heavy machinery creating noise pollution, the residents further alleged in their petition.
Earlier this month, nearly 200 families and home-owners living in the highly-populated and central neighbourhood of T Nagar in Chennai protested against the land acquisition for the proposed Kodambakkam Metro line and station. Parents and alumni of a private school in Nungambakkam also protested the use of their schoolâ€™s land for the proposed Sterling Road Metro station.
Highlighting their plight that the land proposed to be acquired for the metro station will displace several families settled there for generations, members of the Vivekananda Residents Welfare Association and the Civic Exnora of North T Nagar wrote a letter to the Prime Minister on November 30, recording their protest against the land acquisition for the Kodambakkam metro line.