Ramaswamy was admitted a few days ago reportedly due to complications arising out of COVID-19. A doctor attending to him said that the noted activist was put on ventilator support after he suffered a cardiac arrest on Tuesday morning and passed away around 7.45 pm.
Well known for taking up public causes through public interest litigations at the Madras High Court, Ramaswamy was ordained the prefix of ‘traffic’ for his spirited work on keeping roads safe and thereafter he changed his name by adding Traffic to it through a gazette notification.
He got the court to restrain the government from converting NSC Bose Road into a one way, when all that had to be done was remove the encroachments, which had thoroughly narrowed the road. He was also instrumental in banning the fish carts which posed a heavy hindrance to traffic especially with it occupying more road space.
Another aspect which he fought fiercely for was against illegal banners and hoardings installed by political parties be it the DMK or AIADMK. Though he was known to resort to removing such illegal banners by himself, several complaints came to be registered against him, though he was never formally arrested in any of the cases.
He was also known to keep the police and civic officials on their toes either over encroachment or keeping the road safe.
Though, the court threw out several of his PILs as frivolous, saying they rest totally under the domain of the executive, an undeterred Ramaswamy would be seen in the court corridors every day with his front pocket filled with pleas of another public-cause he had taken up and also appear party-in-person to fight for the same. However, the High Court granted him police security in 2018 following threats he faced in the course of his public work.
Admired by thousands in the city, Traffic Ramaswamy’s life has also been loosely adapted into a Kollywood film by the same name. The biopic was directed by debutant Vicky in which father of Vijay and ace director SA Chandrasekhar had played the titular role.