CHENNAI: Residents from the southern suburbs of Chennai want an IAS official to head the Tambaram Corporation, which covers urban localities such as Pallavaram, Chromepet, and Tambaram. It is learnt that four non-IAS officials were contenders for the post of Tambaram Corporation Commissioner and one name has been finalised.
Citing the example of Avadi Corporation, which was formed during the AIADMK regime and was headed by a non-IAS official, the residents said that the "namesake" corporation was just as good as a village panchayat and saw no development. "The roads and other infrastructure remain below par. Hence, we need an IAS official to head Tambaram. Only then will there be accountability," said civic activist David Manohar, who is from Pallavaram.
Just like how Chennai Corporation has eight IAS officials - one commissioner, four deputy commissioners (for health, works, revenue and education), and three regional deputy commissioners (for North, South and Central Chennai) - residents want Tambaram Corporation to have at least three IAS officers for different duties.
Manohar said local people being appointed in the corporation leads to corruption. "IAS officials won't bow to interference that easily," he added, and said corporation staff must be transferred between various cities and districts regularly.
Activist Dhanayand Krishnan said that IAS officers have better decision-making powers and tend to take up more responsibility. "Since the Tambaram Corporation is huge, it requires more attention, especially in terms of health and infrastructure," he said.
Areas beyond Pallavaram have largely become urbanised in the past decades but many village panchayats still lack underground sewage systems, and encroachments on waterbodies are rampant. Authorities have started renaming panchayats and municipalities as corporations.