Articles by Shobana Radhakrishnan

Shobana Radhakrishnan is a Senior Reporter at Citizen Matters. Before moving to Chennai in 2022, she reported for the national daily, The New Indian Express (TNIE), from Madurai. During her stint at TNIE, she did detailed ground reports on the plight of migrant workers and the sorry-state of public libraries in addition to covering the renowned Jallikattu, Tamil Nadu Assembly Elections (2021) and Rural Local Body Polls (2019-2020). Shobana has a Masters degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from the Pondicherry Central University and a Bachelors in English Literature. She keenly follows the impact of development on vulnerable groups.

With the 2024 Lok Sabha elections around the corner, the candidates contesting in the polls are busy campaigning to garner votes. Every one of them makes their poll promises during these campaigns, but very few of these are fulfilled in reality. Voters in the city want pending issues to be addressed. Meanwhile, various civic groups in the city have a plethora of demands that they are putting forward for the political parties and their candidates representing the different constituencies in Chennai. Here are a few such demands that the civic groups in Chennai would like to highlight for the progress…

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Chennai North is a Lok Sabha constituency composed of the assembly segments including Royapuram, Kolathur, T.V.K.Nagar, Perambur, Thiruvottiyur and Dr Radhakrishnan Nagar. This constituency elected its first Member of Parliament in 1957. The incumbent MP is Dr. Kalanidhi Veeraswamy. Chennai North is not only home to many red-category industries that stretch from North Chennai through Manali to Ennore but also hosts the city’s largest garbage dump — Kodungaiyur dump yard. The constituency has two coal-fired power plants and their ash dumps, coal stacking yards, a 10.5 million tonnes/year petroleum refinery, dozens of petrochemical industries, fertiliser plants, three large ports and…

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As India gets ready to vote to decide who will represent the country in Parliament, Citizen Matters is speaking to elected representatives from Chennai, ahead of the Lok Sabha 2024 elections. As part of this series, we had a chat with Kalanidhi Veerasamy, incumbent MP from Chennai North constituency. Dr Kalanidhi has been given the ticket by his party DMK to contest from the same constituency in the 2024 polls. Read more: Lok Sabha 2024: Know your MP — Dr Kalanidhi Veerasamy, Chennai North Chennai North and Dr Kalanidhi Veerasamy The Lok Sabha constituency of Chennai North is composed of six…

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Kalanidhi Veerasamy of DMK was elected from Chennai North Constituency in 2019. The son of veteran DMK leader and former state minister Arcot N Veerasamy, he had his debut political journey in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. He is a graduate of Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Stanley Medical College, with a specialisation in Plastic Surgery. In 2019, a total of 23 candidates contested from various political parties and as independents from Chennai North constituency, which had a total of 14,87,461 voters. Dr Kalanidhi got 61.85% of the vote share and defeated his nearest rival, Alagaapuram R Mohanraj of DMDK, who…

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Lok Sabha elections: GCC chooses 21 disability ambassadors to promote accessible elections In a first-of-its-kind initiative, the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) has chosen persons with disabilities (PwDs) as ambassadors for the 21 disability categories to ensure accessible elections. The problems faced by PwDs were highlighted by the ambassadors during the training programme conducted for the polling officers in Chennai. Accordingly, the GCC has also planned to ferry the PwDs to polling stations through a mobile van service. As part of the voting exercise, the GCC has planned to take the mobile vans with a model electronic voting machine to the…

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In view of Women's Day, observed on March 8, Citizen Matters conducted an online survey on women's safety in Chennai. As many as 171 women took part in this survey between the age group of 18 to 51 years. These women were from areas like Sholinganallur, Adyar, T Nagar, Kotturpuram, Thiruvanmiyur, Royapuram, Perambur, Madipakkam, Anna Nagar and other parts of Chennai. Though we circulated the survey across Chennai, many of the responses were from women in the Southern parts of Chennai, indicating the lack of access for women from areas of North Chennai to take part in such online surveys.…

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At 16, when Jency* got married to a man her family chose for her, she dreamt of a blissful life. Her husband, a carpenter, toiled to make ends meet, while she was a homemaker. Life was tough but they were content. "During weekends, he would take us to the beach and once in a while we went to the movies. Eating Delhi appalam and walking along the seashore at Marina Beach with my husband and my two kids is one of my favourite happy memories," she says. That was Jency's life in the past. The sole breadwinner of her family,…

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The Kilambakkam bus terminus has been marred by controversies ever since it opened to the public. Why was the terminus opened in such a hurry? Why did the CMDA award the contract for Operation and Maintenance to a single concessionaire? What is going to come up at the location of Koyambedu bus stand? Chennai residents are looking for answers to all these questions. To get a clear picture about the operations of the new terminus and put all controversies to rest, we spoke with CMDA Member Secretary, Anshul Mishra. Here is what the CMDA has to say about the issues.…

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With the operation of southbound buses shifted from Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus (CMBT) in Koyambedu to Kalaignar Centenary Bus Terminus (KCBT) in Kilambakkam, there is not much clarity about the bus services among commuters. Kavin, who lives in Arumbakkam, was one among those affected by the confusion over transition of the bus stand from Koyambedu to Kilambakkam. He booked a ticket to Dindigul in an Omni bus in January-end and chose the pick-up point as Vadapalani. The bus should have picked him up at the designated stop at 9 pm. At 8 pm, he got a call from the travel…

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In the first week of December 2023, residents of Chennai and surrounding areas experienced flood fury, which brought the city to a grinding halt. When the 2015 Chennai floods happened, the authorities said it was a one-in-100-years disaster and would not occur for a long period. Yet, in eight years, here we are facing the consequences of a disaster. Now the citizens are asking — who is to blame for the Chennai floods? Major rivers, lakes and canals in the city come under the purview of the Water Resources Department. "But the department, which should be restoring waterbodies and channels…

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