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24 Oct 2021, Edition - 2294, Sunday

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Coimbatore

Tholkappiar Square goes from glory to gory

Irshad Ahamad

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Thanjavur: The Tholkappiar Square, a memorial unveiled on the occasion of the celebrations of the 8th World Tamil Conference in 1995 and touted as an important tourist attraction in Thanjavur, has turned a haven for anti-social elements, thanks to the poor maintenance by authorities.

Tholkappiar Square, located on a sprawling 0.70 acre with a 108-foot tall four storey tower in the middle, was constructed at a cost of Rs 70 lakhs. Unveiled by Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on new year’s day in 1995, the once lush area now resembles a tipplers garbage dump with broken liquor and water bottles and empty sachets.
The second floor of the main building has a beehive.

The slide, swings and other play items in the children’s park are now rusted from the lack of maintenance, and because local tipplers, reportedly, used the park as an open air bar in the evenings, scaring away women and children.

The memorial, which is open from 9am till 8 pm on all days except on Thursdays, no longer has a night watchman making it convenient for the drunkards and anti-social elements to make it their haunt. The night watchman post fell vacant after an earlier staff was assaulted by drunkards and hooligans and sustained head injuries, allege some senior citizens.

When contacted, a senior official of PWD said that measures would be taken soon to set things right. The district administration has planned to provide more amenities to tourists visiting the Square. A joint effort will be made by the corporation, the public works, horticulture and other departments for providing additional amenities to the visiting tourists, an official said.

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