Citizens for Safe Society

ON SUNDAY, the city police went to the public with an open mind to listen to their grievances. This was one chance not many people would like to miss. They turned out in large numbers to narrate their tale of woes.

Every problem, from traffic obstructions to encroachments, haphazard parking, water contamination and even unusable public conveniences, was aired at the interaction.

The citywide campaign, launched simultaneously in 46 places, was officially launched at a centre in Santhome, covering Mylapore area. At the outset, the Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic), G.U.G. Sastry, said the grievances would be routed to the departments and action would be initiated soon.

The deplorable condition of the three Mada Streets and the haphazard parking lot on the West Mada Street, were brought to focus while the bottleneck on Kamarajar Salai in Santhome and the traffic arrangements in Luz Church Road had a few protests. Haphazard parking of vehicles on narrow Kutchery Road also came in for criticism.

Other issues that came up were, violation of one-way traffic rule, MTC buses not using indicators or backlights.

Complaints poured in at the other centres too. At the MEASI School in North Beach area, the residents and traders aired their grievances, which were not much different. Obstructions and encroachments in Mukka Nallamuthu Street, Sembuda Street and Narayanappa Street have contributed to the congestion in the area. Several complaints, both written and oral, were received on contamination of drinking water, especially from residents of Angappa Naicken Street.

The Chennai Traffic Task Force formed under the Citizens for Safe Roads initiative, now has a task in hand. The grievances would now have to be sifted and sent to the departments concerned for action. The follow up would hold the key, which remains to be seen.

The Cengai East district Superintendent of Police, K. Shankar, distributed badges to representatives from various residents' welfare associations in the area. These persons would now be part of the "Citizens for Safe Society" movement and could be approached by residents who had grievances. They would also liaison with the police, Mr. Shankar said.

By Saptarshi Bhattacharya