Perambur, a predominantly working class area, continues to be one of the biggest Assembly constituencies in the city even after delimitation. It is no longer a reserved constituency.
The shifting of two big divisions of Chennai Corporation in Kodungaiyur from Tiruvottiyur constituency has brought in more voters into the Perambur constituency.
There are 2,20,654 lakh voters as per the final rolls published on January 10 as against the 2.70 lakh voters in the last Assembly election. The two Divisions alone account for nearly one lakh voters. Of the total electorate, 1,10,653 are males and 1,09,993 are females and there are 8 others.
Besides a large chunk of the residents who are unorganised workers, the constituency also has Burma repatriates settled in Sastri Nagar and Indira Nagar.
Though the roads in the constituency have been improved, there remain a lot of other civic issues that bother the residents. They include flooding during monsoon, lack of sanitation and traffic congestion. The residents also want the work on road overbridge near Vysarpadi vehicular subway on Erukkanchery High Road to be expedited.
The delay in arriving at a consensus on the integrated solid waste management project in Kodungaiyur is also an irritant for the residents.
P.Ganesa Perumal of Ever Vigilant Citizens Welfare Association said “We think that the project will not be a success. We have been fighting to shift the dumping yard from Kodungaiyur for several decades. Many residents of nearby areas are living in a polluted environment. Burning of garbage still persists. We want the civic body to implement area wise source segregation of garbage.”
A portion of Erukkanchery High Road near the Vysarpadi subway and Moorthingar Street are choked with traffic throughout the day. The slow progress of improving the micro and macro drainages in the constituency has also earned displeasure of the voters.
The Perambur constituency includes Chennai Corporation Divisions 1, 2 and 32 to 36 of Chennai Corporation - Kodungaiyur (West) (Division 1), Kodungaiyur (East) (2), Vysarpadi (South) (32), Vysarpadi (North) (33), Perambur (North) (34), Perambur (East) (35) and Elango Nagar (36).
S.Azhagan, a resident of Elango Nagar, said the area is plagued with problems of water stagnation and frequent sewage blocks. More fair price shops are necessary in as the existing ones are crowded.
Members of the Chennai Kudisai Vazhvor Nala Sangam complained that the elected representatives did not make any attempt to create awareness about the government schemes among the residents. D. Rajendran, the Sangam's general secretary and resident of Satyamurthy Nagar, said many people are unaware of the welfare schemes such as Chennai Metrowater's Rs.100 domestic water connections for lower income group and TNSCB loans for constructing concrete houses.
The drop in frequency of ordinary bus services to Vysarpadi has also added to the woes of the residents. Only deluxe buses are operated to the areas, he said.
Pointing out that many developing areas in Kodungaiyur are yet to get public transport connectivity, Kaviarasu Kannadasan Nagar residents like S.Pandurangan demand that the bus services operated till Mahakavi Bharathiyar Nagar must be extended to the terminus in KKD Nagar.
Though candidates of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam have won many assembly elections in the past, Communist Party of India (Marxist) has emerged victorious in the past two elections. S.K.Mahendran, the sitting Perambur MLA of CPI (M), said that the addition of Kodungaiyur division has increased the middle class population in the area. “I have tried to solve the drinking water problem of the locality. The constituency is in dire need of a government peripheral hospital,” he said.
CPI (M) candidate A.Soundararajan and N.R.Dhanapalan of Perunthalaivar Makkal Katchi, who will be contesting on the DMK's rising sun symbol, are among the 20 candidates in the fray. Twelve independent candidates are contesting in the constituency that has about 230 polling booths.
Though a debutant, Mr.Dhanapalan is confident that the DMK symbol will help him to reach out to voters. “I am involved in educational and social service activities for the past two decades. I understand what their needs are,” he said.
Mr.Soundararajan plans to continue from where his party MLA has left.
“Mr.Mahendran has contributed to the locality's infrastructure development. I will implement works that have been left out be it covering more areas with piped water supply, improving the SWD network and desilting canals.”
What They Say:
A.Soundararajan, CPI (M) candidate: Many residents in each division have been demanding patta for decades. I will focus on this issue and drinking water needs. I plan to open more primary health centres in the thickly populated areas. The constituency needs another government arts college. I will focus on fulfilling the basic needs of developing localities. I will improve the condition of the Kodungaiyur canal to prevent inundation of the neighbouring areas during monsoon.
N.R.Dhanapalan, Perunthalaivar Makkal Katchi candidate: I will make a sincere attempt to develop the constituency on a par with the developed areas in south Chennai. I will address the problems pertaining to basic amenities and improve sanitation. People want speedy execution of infrastructure projects and I will keep this in mind. I have promised to get adequate space for a cemetery for Christians. I will strive to complete the Kodungaiyur integrated solid waste management project.