Okkiampettai residents protest merger with Kannagi Nagar

Nearly 3,000 voters of Okkiampettai, a locality off Rajiv Gandhi Salai, boycotted the election on Monday by not casting their vote. They were annoyed that their area has been merged with Kannagi Nagar, a locality dotted with several hundred Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board tenements.

The wards of Okkiam Thoraipakkam Panchayat were clubbed to form three wards as part of the delimitation exercise of the expanded Chennai Corporation.

Around 11.30 a.m., hundreds of residents of Pillayar Koil Street and neighbouring areas in Okkiampettai took to the road and showed their disapproval by staging a protest. Residents said they have been residing in the locality for decades and instead of giving them a separate identity their area has been merged with Kannagi Nagar, which is a new locality and predominantly houses people relocated from several areas in the city. The protest was also to highlight the apathy of the authorities to the problems faced by Okkiampettai residents. “Over the years, I have written several letters to various government agencies for water supply but we are yet to get piped supply. Though we were told that we would get water supply along with Kannagi Nagar nothing has happened so far,” said G. Gandhimathi. “Not even one candidate from our locality has been given a ticket by the major political parties. Who will represent our problems?” asked K. Dakshinamurthy, a resident of Okkiampettai, which falls under ward number 195.