Chennai: Even as political parties are devising ways to woo voters of the city ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, residents of T Nagar, one of the important areas, have a shock in store for candidates – they have decided to vote for NOTA this time.
T Nagar Residents’ Welfare Association functioning from Rangan Street off South Usman Road has placed a hoarding- “T Nagar Smart City, Waste of Tax Payers’ Money, No Water, No Vote, We vote for NOTA.”
Explaining the circumstances that led to this decision, an office-bearer of the forum said, “T Nagar was selected as Smart City way back in 2015 and both Central and State governments spent crores of rupees of tax payers’ money for
this project. However, in contrast to smartness, issues like encroachment, poor maintenance of storm water drains which lead to contamination of water, huge scarcity of water for all purposes, misuse of land, gross violation by buildings, non-compliance of fire safety norms by commercial establishments continue to bother us and no action is
taken to address these things so far.”
He added: “Hence, our association has taken this decision and placed the board. But, we will not force anyone to vote for NOTA. We believe that if votes for NOTA increase, it will highlight the fact that residents have lost faith in political parties and their candidates.”
“If NOTA votes are high, even the candidate who emerges successful in the election will know that there is a huge discontent among residents and will come forward to work with people,” he said further.
About the representations made on the above issues, he said, “our association sent letters to several higher officials including the Prime Minister, but did not receive any reply so far. There is also no reply to our RTI petitions on Smart City project. In the name of Smart City, we see T Nagar becoming only a concrete jungle and there seems to be no accountability from authorities concerned.”
Elaborating, he said, “Almost five years have been wasted in the name of cleaning up T Nagar, but nothing has happened. Sadly, residents are forced to buy water for drinking and other purposes.”
Suggesting a remedy, he said, “We want the authorities to consult the plans provided by various firms for Smart City in T Nagar with reputed institutions like Indian Institute of Technology, Anna University etc.”
“A few even asked us about fielding our own candidate as independent. Our answer is simple- Every individual who vote for NOTA is candidate by himself or herself and that is what we voice through the hoarding.”