Chennai civic polls: Ward 71 wants improved mobility, safety and ward committees

Charter of demands from Ward 71 voters

Perambur high road
Encroachment by shops and parked vehicles have forced pedestrians into danger and is a recurring issue in ward 71. Pic: Raghukumar Choodamani

In continuation to the charter of demands submitted to the MLA candidates before the Assembly Elections held last year we, the  members of Community Welfare Brigade, are submitting the following Charter of Demands to all the potential candidates who are participating in the Corporation Elections in 2022 on behalf of the Residents of Ward 71 in Zone 6. As a citizen engagement group we would like to build a clean, safe and secure model neighbourhood community.

On civic infrastructure and encroachments

The traffic density on Perambur High Road, Madhavaram High Road and Paper Mills Road has increased significantly over the past few years and there is an urgent need to act on this issue with conviction. Restaurants and shopkeepers have encroached the public spaces by putting up food vending stalls, kitchens, chat or tea counters right on the footpath causing inconvenience to pedestrians. Some of them have also put up advertisement boards, installed fencing and placed tables on the foot paths.

Such violations can also be seen in Patel Road, Bharathi Road and other interior lanes in our ward. Two-wheelers and auto rickshaws are parked in a haphazard manner right in front of the commercial establishments causing obstruction to free flow of traffic during the peak hours. Several fruit/vegetable vendors, food carts & eateries have encroached the foot paths as well as the roads (both – arterial Bus Route Roads & interior roads such as Patel Road & Bharathi Road). We would like to suggest potential corporators to work with the public and vendors to find a suitable location where the shops can be rehabilitated within Perambur without affecting their livelihood.

The proposal to widen the arterial bus route roads has been put on hold for several decades. We seek your help in widening the arterial bus route roads, provide pedestrian friendly footpaths  and complete the construction of the concrete median and install speed breakers where it’s necessary. Identification and allocation of designated parking spaces for two wheelers, auto rickshaws and other vehicles on the arterial bus route roads would greatly ease the stress on the key roads in our ward.

We want our elected representative to get the commercial establishments to fall in line with the High Court rulings as far as provision of parking spaces within their premises is concerned. 


Read more: What stalled median work in Perambur tells us about local governance


Thiruvengadam Street, Perambur High Road Lane and other concrete topped roads across our ward are in a very bad shape. Thiruvengadam Street was topped with concrete two times in the last one decade and the height of the road has been increased by over 2 feet. Some of the houses in this road have sunk considerably from the surface of the road and get inundated during the monsoon. This road was dug up soon after it was resurfaced with concrete at least two or more times by different departments.

A lack of proper coordination between the various departments is to be blamed for this situation. According to the GCC officials the patch work should have been done by TNEB or CMWSSB after completing the work, alternatively, they should provide the details relating to the funds transferred towards the cost of resurfacing the roads to GCC.

If the local administration decides to resurface the existing concrete roads which are in a dilapidated condition resurfaced entirely in the near future we want your commitment that the existing height of the roads will never be increased as per the rules laid out by the High Court

We urge the to-be corporators  to take a close look at the manner in which Raghavan Street in Ward 69 has been resurfaced. This situation definitely needs to change and there has to be some sense of accountability when executing infrastructure development projects.

As CMRL Phase 2 construction work has commenced, we would like  the local administration to put in place a plan to ensure free flow of traffic during the construction in consultation with the residents.We would also like  to request the construction of  a proper concrete median in the subway under the Murasoli Maran bridge because many two wheeler riders can be seen riding on the wrong side of the road after dislodging the concrete blocks.

On conservancy work and Swacch Bharat

Quality of conservancy and sanitation work across Perambur has deteriorated over the past several months. We would like to see elected local representatives work to establish a sustainable Solid Waste Management plan for the area and take measures to keep public spaces in our neighbourhoods clean.

Garbage Transfer Point at JJ Scheme Road and Meenakshi Street Intersection has become a dump yard for garbage and construction debris. In early 2021 a fire accident was reported at this spot and the entire area was cleaned up, however garbage and debris is still being dumped near the transformers and electricity distribution pillars. Given that this area is surrounded by schools and places of worship we urge that you look at the possibility of moving the Garbage Transfer Point to some other location. The residents in the neighbourhood are forced to put up with the strong stench of rotten garbage when the piles are left behind for days together.

Garbage Transfer Point at Perambur High Road is located on the arterial bus route road and is causing obstruction to free flow of traffic. The bins are cleared during the peak hour and the garbage trucks are parked right in the middle of the road. The carts and electric vehicles with garbage are parked right in front of the Bus Shelter which is also located here. We suggest that the Garbage Transfer Point or the Bus Stop Shelter be moved a little further away. Commuters who use this shelter are forced to put up with the filth & stench of rotten garbage while waiting for their buses.

Disposal of construction debris has been a major issue in the ward. The streets across our ward are ridden with piles of construction debris and garden waste. It was a Herculean task for us to get the debris and trees cleared. The reason attributed for the delay was shortage of conservancy workers, open trucks and bob carts. We would appreciate it if elected representatives could work to obtain open trucks , bob carts and other equipment to complete the work in a time bound manner.

Shortage and frequent absenteeism of the conservancy workers has been a long pending issue which needs to be looked into. On the days when a worker is on a weekly off or on leave, the substitute workers are deployed only after we lodge a complaint. We need a robust Solid Waste Management System where the service is provided all through the year without any interruption.

On healthcare infrastructure

During the peak of the pandemic the residents of our ward had to run from pillar to post to get medical help or get an ambulance to pick up the patients. We would like you to put in place a robust health care system which can help facilitate availability of health care 24 x7, 365 days.

On shelter for the homeless

Finding a shelter for the mentally ill homeless patients living on the streets was a challenging task for the residents in our neighbourhood. It took us a lot of time and effort to get the attention of the officials and the NGOs before arranging to rescue a couple of patients in the last two years. We  would  like to see an action plan to aid the homeless and mentally ill. 

On water supply, stormwater drain and inundation

Water is going to be a major issue in the future especially during the drought years. Ground water level which was around 100 to 120 feet has fallen to 200 feet in many areas of the ward.

During the monsoon most of the water passes through the roads and stormwater drains before getting discharged into the sea. We would like to see the elected local representative undertake to construct  recharge wells in every street across our ward to help recharge the groundwater table.

The stormwater drain canal on Perambur High Road North Side along the railway tracks is in a very bad shape and needs to be renovated. There are over a dozen potholes and open manhole chambers on the canal and the pedestrians using this footpath are at risk especially during the rains when the entire stretch gets flooded. The manhole chamber doors are constructed in a shoddy manner, instead of flushing the manhole chamber doors with the surface of the SWD or footpath, the doors have been constructed in a manner that pedestrians have to hop, skip and jump.

pothole in Perambur
The concrete topped storm water drain along Perambur High Road North Side is ridden with potholes, damaged and uneven manhole chamber doors. In the absense of a footpath on either sides of the road, pedestrians are forced to walk on the road.

When the stormwater drains were desilted before the monsoon last year, most of the manhole chamber doors were broken beyond repair by contract workers who used a primitive method to open the jammed doors. We would like for the elected local representative to ensure that proper tools and equipment are provided to the workers who  carry out this work in the future.

On safe and secure neighbourhoods

The presence of 3 TASMAC Shops with attached liquor bars on the arterial bus route Perambur High Road has been a matter of grave concern for residents living in the neighbourhoods for the past several years. The residents have been putting up with several issues such as chain snatching, eve teasing, robbery, drunken driving, haphazard parking, smoking, consuming drugs or alcohol, and public nuisance. 

While we managed to get the enforcement agencies to install CCTV Cameras in Venkatraman Canal Street, cameras are yet to be installed by the government in other lanes in the immediate neighbourhood. We seek your help in installing CCTV cameras on the arterial & interior roads to curb such illegal activities. 

Venkatraman Street and Venkatraman Canal Street are prone to all sorts of illegal activities. We have been lodging frequent complaints concerning several issues over the last 8 years. While the enforcement agencies had enforced frequent police patrolling in the neighbourhoods a few years ago, the situation has changed totally after the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic. We want the elected local representative to work with the Police Department and get them to enforce strict & regular beat patrolling of the neighbourhoods. 


Read more: A citizens’ traffic plan for Perambur High Road


On trees and green cover

In the last couple of years we have lost many age old trees in our ward due to sheer negligence on the part of the officials from the Parks Department. The overgrown trees in our neighbourhoods need to be pruned before the onset of the monsoon. Despite several petitions the local officials did not take proactive steps to prune the trees well in time.

The Tree Pruning Machine on Wheels operated by the Greater Chennai Corporation which was deployed in our Zone earlier were not to be seen. The workers were complaining about non availability of proper pruning equipment, JCB, bob carts or trucks and it was a Herculean task for the residents to get the officials to prune the trees and clear the debris left behind. 

On citizen participation

More and more people are taking the initiative to make their local neighbourhood more liveable. As a result, the relationship between government and society is changing. As local residents become more involved in public life, the role of government needs to adapt and take greater account of initiatives in the community. It means local authorities playing a more supportive role, for instance by providing facilities or making them available. In addition, the local administration can use neighbourhood budgets to help residents get things done.

The government can support citizen participation in various ways, for instance by abolishing unnecessary rules and regulations wherever possible, like doing away with  the complex application procedures volunteers sometimes have to contend with to obtain funding for their activities.

On Ward Commitees

We will need the help of the elected local representative in setting up a ward committee upon their election. Citizen participation in matters relating to infrastructure development, conservancy and security can help build a robust and model constituency within the City of Chennai. Steps must be taken to enforce a proper quality audit system to oversee the infrastructure development work taken up by the local administration.

Members of Community Welfare Brigade and Perambur Neighborhood Development Forum will continue to engage with the local administration on behalf of the residents from Ward 71 in making our neighbourhood and the city better. We will extend our total cooperation and support to the candidate who manages to get the mandate of the people in the forthcoming local body elections.

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About Raghukumar Choodamani 20 Articles
Raghukumar Choodamani is a resident of Chennai and likes to write about his observations in Chennai.

1 Comment

  1. Appreciated on the article. Also we need to have new reconstructed platforms for the pedestrians. Existing platform are encroached and modified towards their business needs. Business is important for anyone’s livelyhood at the same time it should not affect the pedestrians.

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