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Mayor Priya is not the puppet but the savior - How did Chennai recover from the floods?

By Anuj Cariappa
Google Oneindia News

Chennai: All the opposition parties in Tamil Nadu, who were hoping to do politics with the rains, have been left speechless.

Along with this, they also planned to mislead the people by saying 'All roads in Chennai have been divided into chaos' but that too went in vain.

Mayor Priya is not the puppet but the savior - How did Chennai recover from the floods?

Chief Minister M.K.Stalin never gave any opportunity for the opposite party, with the administration skills DMK government tackled the rain without disturbing the public.

From Stalin to Priya Raja

In 1996, when M.K. Stalin took over as the Mayor of Chennai Corporation, he came up with a proposal to transform the old Chennai into 'Singara Chennai'. It was during his reign many flyovers were constructed in Chennai and the city got a new identity.

Consequently, Stalin has made a huge contribution in the effort to modernize the face of Chennai. When he handed over the responsibility of managing the Chennai Metropolitan Corporation, the hot city of Tamil Nadu to Priya Rajan, a young woman, many raised their voices against this on multiple fronts.

The social media was flooded with comments saying, "The post has been given just to showcase that the party stands for Scheduled Castes". But mayor Priya Rajan has given a befitting reply to all that comment by handling the rain relief work properly.

Chennai Corporation is unique globally. The Chennai Metropolitan Corporation (CMC) has been classified as the 2nd oldest municipal body in the world. Chennai is a city with a population equal to that of the countries around the world. It is a city that is more than 300 years old. A city that has evolved without any fine planning. The city does not have roads on a proper scale. Many areas still look like busy roads. There are no proper storm water drains or underground drains that discharge quality sewage.

Comparatively, Kolkata, a city of similar size older, the pathways to underground sewers have been properly designed 200 years ago. A truck can be transported inside the underground drains. They are so deep and tall. But Chennai is not like that. The unorganized population is increasing day by day.

It is not easy for a young woman to identify the solutions for all the problems of Chennai City in a very short period. It takes a long run to figure out things and re-construct the city.

Dreamt of being a teacher! Now the Mayor

Priya took over as mayor in March 2022. Before that, she had no political experience or administrative skills and only the dream of becoming a teacher was lurking within her. But, when her ward was reserved for a woman candidate, she contested the election as per her father's wishes.

Even then, she contested for the post with the slightest hope of being a 'ward member'. But the 'sudden' political wave turned to her. When ideas were put forward that 'this post should be given to a Scheduled Caste woman', Priya Rajan came under the guise of Mayor.

Mayor Priya is not the puppet but the savior - How did Chennai recover from the floods?

It has been seven months since she took over as the Mayor of Chennai. At this time, a proposal for Chennai's storm water drain work was requested from the IIT. Its expert team planned very quickly and gave a blueprint. Let's say it took at least a month to prepare it. Thereafter, the engineers of the Greater Chennai Corporation inspected it.

Thereafter, the proposal was discussed among the ministers and again placed before the Chief Minister. Even if we calculate a month to allocate funds for it, it will take three months for these paper-shaped works.

So, after Priya becomes the Mayor, if you subtract 3 months from the tenure of this job, the remaining is only 4 months. In any case, we present an approximation to illustrate that these works began in a timely manner.

But in the political arena, they can accuse them for not starting the work earlier, they need to understand that work can start only after coming to power. The Opposition leaders or the former CM Jayalalitha or followed by EPS have never thought about these projects.

But within a few months of Priya taking over as mayor, she started this storm water drain work project in Chennai. Considering her experience of the tenure and the duration of her work are the same we should appreciate that she has shaped up well and improved more on her administration skills.

Jayalalithaa, who has more than 30 years of political experience in Tamil Nadu, had handled a disaster much worser. It was during Jayalalithaa's tenure that the city of Chennai was flooded.

Why English Media is ignoring the Development of DMK

Mayor Priya Rayan in her short period stabilized Mambalam where there used to be huge water logging in different areas. We could see the evidence shared in twitter by Elangovan Rajasekharan, co-editor of Frontline, a magazine published by The Hindu group.

He mentioned that "It's a great job by the government, the people of West Mambalam support the Chennai Metropolitan Municipality. It is surprising why the media, especially the English media, is ignoring and moving without writing in detail about this change. They always criticize DMK when there is any minor incident happening but forget to address the major development brought by DMK.

Uma Anand of the BJP councillor elected from West Mambalam never appreciated the work of DMK, neither Annamalai visited the place to understand the changes made by DMK. Annamalai, who does politics with mere criticism, refuses to understand these facts. The reality is that the Tamil Nadu field is not in his favour.

Not just Mambalam but the whole city knows how the place used to suffer with waterlogs and traffic due to that! Because most of the Chennai working people travel through T.Nagar which is the hot spot in Mambalam. But now there are no waterlogs hence we see there is good control over traffic management. Hope the people of Chennai realise the brilliant administrative work of Councilor and the key brain of Stalin.

When asked to Mayor Priya in the way she likes "Do you think that you have passed the exams'' She replied 'Not just passing but it feels that we have crossed 90% Marks'. This is not just her feeling but also the feeling of the people of Chennai especially the people situated in and around Mambalam, Thiru.V.K Nagar, Vadachennai, puliyanthope, Velachery etc.

JayaPlus strongest critic of DMK appreciated

Surprisingly 'Jaya Plus', which has always been criticized, made a statement about the midnight inspection of Mayor Priya.

However, former AIADMK minister Jayakumar and his partymen have ignored the hard work of Priya's inspection from midnight till early morning 4am!

Last year, the northeast monsoon was recorded on November 6 and 7 with the amount of rainfall recorded as 7cm. On October 31 and November 1 this year, the amount of rainfall in Thiru.Vi.Kaa Nagar was 15 to 30 cm which is double than last year.

Areas like Kolathur and Puliyanthoppu usually get waist-deep water logging on rainy days. Last year, it took up to 4 or 5 days for the rainwater to drain out. But at present, there is no waist-deep water which was confirmed by the local area people. Rainwater has also been drained out overnight and the situation is being stable. Eventhough the rainfall this year is twice as much as last year, it's impact is less.

But without saying all these, the opposition is spreading false propaganda that no work has proceeded in developing the city and no initiative has been taken to control the waterlogs.

We need to know that Chennai has been much focused ever since the DMK came to power. Various schemes have been put into action to rebuild Chennai.

New projects worth Rs 4,000 crore

Works are being taken up at a cost of about Rs.4,000 crores under various schemes in the name of SingaraChennai 2.0 Project, World Bank funded projects and Kosasthalaiyar River Restoration Project.

Of these, the Kosasthalaiyar river restoration project is considered to be one of the most valuable projects which is scheduled to be completed before January 2024. 95 per cent of the Singara chennai works have been completed - Mayor Priya said, addressing the press regarding the 'package'.

Netizens immediately posted memes and started trolling her for the word 'package' mentioned by her. It is easy to troll someone but it's not easy to work on field at such a young age carrying so much responsibility. She is just 28 years old and is leading in rebuilding the 300 years old Chennai.

Chennai's storm water drain works are not an easy job. But she has worked hard on this and proved that she is capable of handling any responsibility. A plan has been chalked out in consultation with IIT for this project. Thereafter, the inspection was carried out by the engineers of the Metropolitan Municipality.

As per the guidance received from them, it is said that the lines of electricity laid by the ground should be identified. Similarly, the pipelines of the Metro Water Supply and Drainage Board should be identified, and the route should be laid without any repairs. There are many pressures to revamp the work without cutting down the trees.

Desilting works for 1350 km

It is said that such a complex task could have been undertaken 'zone-wise'. But it is not possible, by doing that a part would have been completely affected. This would have led to a lot of criticism. Many would have put forward the idea that 'we could have done it first for our area'. But Mayor Priya along with the team avoided such ideas.

Notably, since Stalin took over as chief minister, two weekly meetings have been held in the corporation for storm water drain work. It's not just a meeting but they have desilted 1,350 km and 33. The desilting work was completed three months ago.

We need to specifically mention that due to the heavy traffic in the city these works have been carried out only in night.

Ganapathy Siva Nagar in North Chennai is a very low-lying area. For a light drizzle we could see the water stagnate. The rainwater accumulated in the area has been motored to the nearby Retteri lake by a giant machine to pump the water. Sivaguru Prabhakaran, IAS, shared on his Twitter page how modern structures have been implemented for the same.

Also, we could see there are motor pumps all set ready to be used incase of emergencies.

Mayor Priya is not a puppet!

The oppositions always mention Mayor Priya as the puppet of DMK or just the mouthpiece of Ministers. Therefore, she has to consult the ministers in the department. Sekar Babu and Ma.Subramaniam are the main ministers in Chennai. Hence, as a young Mayor she has the responsibility to consult with the seniors to handle some situations. This doesn't mean she is not capable of handling situations.

We have seen how the city was sinking in water before the DMK period and how it is draining well now!

We could see the development in front. We need to understand that there can be healthy criticism, but it is not good for any opposition to criticize even when the proper work is done. If you mention Priya as a Puppet, yes, the puppet will save the city including the critics who are situated in Chennai as well.

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