Sathyanarayanan B won the hot seat of T Nagar in the 2016 legislative elections. Contesting the seat for a second time, the AIADMK candidate was in the final phase of the campaign trail, explaining the accomplishments and welfare schemes of the ruling AIADMK government and outlining his plans for the constituency, when we met him for an exclusive interview.
Here are the excerpts:
How would you rate your five-year performance as an MLA?
I am completely satisfied with my tenure as I have fulfilled my promises. Developing Pondy Bazaar under the smart city mission has been a noteworthy accomplishment during the period. The constituency now has state-of-the-art facilities such as multi-level car parking.
A water line was sanctioned for West Mambalam at a cost of Rs 85 lakh, a new police station, Amma clinic and Amma auditorium were constructed and permission has been granted for constructing a fire station and four more flyovers. We are aiming to complete the Duraiswamy flyover by 2021. An exclusive flyover at Rangarajapuram with covered top and illuminated digital advertisement hoardings is in the works too.
Besides these mega projects, I have also pushed for changing the damaged sewage and water pipelines and sanctioning water lines for Ottagapalyam and West Mambalam.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a legislator for the constituency?
I have faced no challenges during my tenure. There was some discomfort over delayed projects. Except for that, work has been satisfactory.
Ranganathan street, the shopping hub of T Nagar, has various issues. There are no fire exits in the buildings. Encroachments and traffic congestion are a pain. What plan do you have for Ranganathan Street?
Road issues were a serious concern at Ranganathan Street. We have rectified it by carrying repair works, laying new roads and forming storm water drains. There are violations related to the buildings that I don’t wish to comment on without deeper knowledge of the issues. Traffic jams occur at level crossings, due to the previous DMK government’s decision to not divert the routes. We are still managing, by not letting the traffic stagnate for more than five minutes.
Multi-level car parking was a much talked-about project. But we see it has found few takers. What went wrong?
Multilevel car parking was introduced just ten days before elections, due to which it has not received enough attention. It is a world class facility, with a separate bay area for two-wheeler parking. As soon as we form the government this year, we shall focus on curbing encroachments and have a word with corporation officials again. However, it is the responsibility of the citizens as well to comply with rules.
But the project also failed many deadlines, right?
We had to pause many infrastructural projects during the pandemic. There was also an initial delay in transportation of required machinery from China.
T Nagar is grappling with issues such as air pollution and rapid commercialisation. So much so that many old timers are thinking of shifting to other localities. Do you have a solution?
I am sorry to say that I don’t possess any knowledge about air pollution. Yes, it is in the news. However, since I am unaware, I cannot really comment.
What do you feel is your greatest advantage over other contestants in this election?
Citizens rely on legislators for better civic and infrastructure development. I am people-friendly. I engage with people who call me and chart plans to resolve their issues. Under any circumstances, I always return the calls of citizens in less than two days. That way, many grievances in West Mambalam has been resolved. I never bother about other contestants, as I am sincere at my work and true to my conscience.
Do you think enough focus is given to other localities in the constituency (besides T Nagar)?
Yes. I have completed construction of 10 ration shops across the constituency. A slum in Ottagapalayam of Vadapalani locality now sports a new look with good roads, a proper sewage network and water facilities. Similar redevelopment works were carried out on 13th lane in Vadapalani. After a discussion with the slum board, 80 houses with proper compound walls, along with lift facility, were constructed.
What are the three things you would focus on, if re-elected?
T Nagar is already a developed constituency. We have facilitated all basic amenities such as ration shops, Amma water and Amma electricity for the people. I am looking forward to completion of three pending flyovers by 2021, which upon completion, shall match any global structure, both in design and standard.