Point in case, the Corporation-run playground near the SDAT Stadium in Nungabakkam, where a group of 15 people were asked to leave the facility, as the other “coach” wanted to use it. “We were playing in the ground, when the skating coach asked us to leave. This has happened quite a few times in the past. But this time, we refused and immediately, the person called the local goons and a few of us were manhandled. This is a Corporation-run facility, which is for the public and another member cannot restrict the others from using it,” said Shankar Krishnan, a citybased entrepreneur.
Another user of the ground, who wished to remain anonymous, said that this facility has a skating rink, a basketball court, tennis court and football ground. “The private, self-proclaimed coaches are operating training sessions but don’t give out bills for the services. They are neither with SDAT nor with the Corporation. But they have the key to the grounds. During the weekdays, between 6 and 8, they restrict other groups from using this facility, since they conduct training for others who are charged. When we confronted them, they said that they were local people, who were ‘maintaining’ the facility,” said the source.
In Villivakkam too, a similar incident had occurred when the users of a Corporation school ground were asked to leave, as the private coach needed the facility for the training sessions.
A senior Corporation official said that the civic body has not given such permission to any group. “Usually, the grounds are used on first-come, first-served, basis but the Corporation has not given permission for any such allotment. The Nungambakkam incident had occurred when the group, which usually played in the open ground, was using the skating rink. In addition, the Corporation is also planning to upgrade the existing grounds and streamline the entire process of usage of these facilities,” said the official.