Roads were blocked as scores of followers of Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar flocked to his statue on his birthday

Traffic on stretches of Anna Salai was affected for nearly three hours from 11 a.m. due to the crowd that had come to garland the statue of Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar at Nandanam on Wednesday.

In Chennai, dignitaries including Chief Minister Jayalalithaa garlanded Thevar statue at Nandanam signal on the occasion of his 106 anniversary celebrations. Scores of Muthuramalinga Thevar’s followers gather at Nandanam every year to garland his statue.

On Wednesday, around 10.30 a.m., Ms Jayalalithaa garlanded the statue and left in a matter of minutes.

“Over 1,000 traffic policemen were deployed to regulate vehicle flow. We blocked traffic for only 15 minutes before the Chief Minister arrived. The actual chaos began after she left” said a senior traffic police officer.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., scores of followers of Muthuramalinga Thevar flocked to the statue from different parts of the city. “Most of the crowd came from villages. Many were dancing on the road and bursting crackers,” said the officer.

As they crossed the road at different junctions, traffic movement was affected. “We began diverting vehicles coming from R.A. Puram through Cenotaph Road. The vehicles from Little Mount were diverted to Sardar Patel Road and were asked to go via Kotturpuram to reach their destination,” said the police officer.

“Every year, traffic movement gets affected in Nandanam and surrounding areas like T. Nagar and the traffic police are rendered helpless,” said S. Dinesh, who works in a private firm in Nandanam.

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