Constituency round-up: T Nagar, crying for an end to persistent civic problems

Find out the full list of candidates that T Nagar will choose from this time, the detailed profile of the sitting MLA who seeks re-election, and the concerns of voters.

Thyagaraya Nagar, commonly known as T Nagar, is a reputed commercial hub and an important junction in Chennai. T Nagar’s renown as a shopper’s paradise is well known across the country. A crowded locality, with decorative eateries, luxury hotels and multiple purchase outlets, it may well be described as one of the most happening places in the city.

The resident population is a mix of celebrities, many of whom can be spotted on early morning walks in the parks, and daily wagers, who make their living in the commercial areas. Many businessmen and a few retired diplomats live in the posh sub localities of this area. Employees and daily wage workers in the neighbourhood’s private firms also live here on the margins.

Representative image.

Location-wise, T Nagar assembly constituency consists of Pondy Bazaar, Kodambakkam, CIT Nagar, Ashok Nagar, West Mambalam and a few wards of Vadapalani.

Many smart city projects such as pedestrian plaza and multi-level car parking have been implemented at T Nagar, a pivotal locality in the constituency. Yet, complaints persist — of critical issues such as unplanned development, bad waste management, encroachment by shops, vehicular pollution and illegal water-tapping by commercial establishments. In fact, itked by unresolved civic issues affecting their quality of life, a section of residents here decided to boycott all parties and candidates, and choose the NOTA option, in the 2019 parliamentary elections.

Read More: T Nagar: Tired of civic problems, will residents opt for NOTA?

Voter base (2016)

  • Total number of voters: 141416 (excluding postal votes)
  • Male Voters: 72561
  • Female voters: 68852
  • Third gender: 3
  • Polling percentage: 57.94%

Incumbent MLA

  • Name:  Sathiyanaarayanan B (AIADMK). 2016 was his debut election and he won with a majority of 3,155 votes.
  • Party: AIADMK
  • Age: 57
  • Address: Door no.16/2, Parameswari Colony, Andavar Nagar, Kodambakkam Chennai 600 024
  • Name Enrolled as Voter in: 24-Thyagaraya Nagar (Tamil Nadu) constituency , at Serial no 194 in Part no 8
  • Contact Number: 9841026424
  • Criminal cases: One

Source: Myneta Info

In the news

  • B Sathyanarayanan, MLA of T Nagar faced the wrath of the public on February 21, 2017. It was during his morning walk in Jeeva park, that fellow walkers cornered him with questions about his shift of loyalty towards Sasikala. He later clarified in an interview to TOI how this was motivated by his desire to ensure that the government could withstand the political crisis after the sudden demise of sitting CM Jayalalitha. He further added that had the party not supported Sasikala, the state might have ended up crumbling with forced imposition of president’s rule and eventually, fresh elections.
  • Sathyanarayanan was also involved in the controversial shifting of a ration shop in the constituency from Rameswaram Road to Mambalam High Road. Senior citizens complained that the move necessitated many of them to walk an extra two kilometres. “There was no reason to shift, as there was no complaint from the residents,” B Kannan, secretary of T Nagar Residents’ Welfare Association told The Times of India.
  • In 2017, T Nagar MLA B Sathyanarayanan was in the news for highlighting the issue of traffic congestion in T Nagar. He also demanded escalators near Duraisamy subway and Ranganathan Street — the hubs of T Nagar. Stressing on the water scarcity issue in T Nagar, he demanded construction of new overhead tanks.

2016 election results

PartyCandidateVotes acquiredPercentage of votes polled
(As per ECI website)
AIADMKSathiyanaarayanan B53,20737.47
DMKDr N S Kanimozhi50,05235.25
BJPRaja H19,88814.01
DMDKKumar V6,2104.37
PMKVinoth V5,0713.57
Source: Citizen Matters

Know your candidates

S. NoNamePartyAgeOccupation & EducationNo of pending criminal cases
1Karunanidhi JDMK51Business; 9th standard1 (offences due to protest)
2Sathiyanaarayanan B AIADMK57Business; B.Com1 (offences of breach of trust)
3Vetri SelviAnaithu Makkal Arasiyal Katchi47Nil; M.Sc psychologyNone
4Johnson RBahujan Samaj Party38Business; SSLCone (offences due rioting)
5Sivasankari SNaam Tamilar Katchi33Software engineer; B TechNone
6R BharaneeswaranAMMK40Business; B.Sc ViscomNone
7Palayan RIndependent30Advocate; BA LLBNone
8Kannan SIndependent29Advocate; LLBNone
9Rajasekaran DIndependent38Engineer; diploma in engineering and BBANone
10Dhanush MUnited States of India party25Accountant; M.ComNone
11Ellappan A.K.DMahatma Makkal Munetra Kazhakam53Director in movie industry; Diploma None
12Karupaiah PalaMNM Party77Film actor; SSLCNone
13Dhanasekaran RDesiya Makkal Sakthi Katchi60Advisor; SSLC1 (breach of trust and cheating)
14Thirunavukkarasu VMakkalatchi Katchi43Personal Assistant to advocate; 10th standardNone
Source: ECI. To know more about the candidates, check their affidavits here.

Read more: What you can look forward to at the T Nagar pedestrian plaza

Key issues

  • T Nagar has undergone a sea change in terms of commercialisation, but that has not added to the quality of life of its residents here. “Ranganathan street tops the list. With no safety mechanisms such as fire exits in those shopping complexes, they pose a threat to shoppers, especially during festive seasons,” said  V S Jayaraman of T Nagar Residents Welfare Association. 
  • Encroachment is a reason behind traffic congestion in T Nagar. This is evident in almost all the streets with shopkeepers utilizing all of available space as parking bays. “Apart from the encroachments, haphazard parking of vehicles result in traffic congestion. The recently inaugurated multi-level parking has few takers and defeats the very purpose of its existence,” said Unni Prasad, a T Nagar resident. 
  • Kodambakkam residents are irked by multiple issues. “The civic amenities here are pathetic. The lanes were already narrow but now the condition of the main roads is also terrible. Many streets face unending garbage and sewage issues that noone has been able to fix. The last time it rained, my street was flooded for two days with water stagnation. I hope more attention is given to this, as it also leads to many health issues among the people,” Balasundaram K, a Kodambakkam resident said. 
  • Pondy Bazar is in bad shape, ironically more so after its betterment works started. According to an article in The Times of India, the lack of a well thought-out parking policy and poor planning of the Pedestrian Plaza project has created a mess in the area.

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