Constituency witnesses little change in infrastructure, socio-economic development

Yet another election and it has been yet another round of stale political discourse. In a constituency that have witnessed little change in terms of infrastructure and socio-economic development over the past couple of decades, the campaign for the Lok Sabha election in Tiruchi has largely centred on unresolved issues that have been discussed and debated in successive elections in the recent past. Issues remain the same and so are the promises of the candidates, if one were to leave out matters of national implications. Poll promises of most of the candidates too have a common streak and amidst all the political blame game, aspirations of the people remain unfulfilled.

“Elections come and go; but many of our long-pending demands and expectations remain unfulfilled,” says M.Sekaran, president, Federation of Consumer and Service Organisations.

The poor urban infrastructure, the need for an integrated bus stand in the city, expansion of the Tiruchi Airport, the neglect of Tiruchi in terms of improving rail connectivity, shifting of the wholesale section of the Gandhi Market to decongest the locality, upgradation of Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital on a par with All India Institute of Medical Sciences, and inclusion of the city under the Jawaharlal National Urban Renewal Mission have all been issues that have dominated the political discussion in the constituency during recent elections. “But for the development of the highways around Tiruchi, the urban infrastructure of the city has remained the same. Problems remain the same; there has been no proactive action from the elected representatives,” says R.Gopal, a resident.

Harnessing the surplus water that flowed into the sea during the monsoon by building check dams or barrages across the Coleroon too has been a promise that have been held out by candidates in several elections now. “They have been talking about diverting the surplus waters of Coleroon to the dry Pudukottai region for many years. But nothing has happened and we continue to toil against the odds,” says Pushparaj, a farmer of Pudukottai district. The abolition of the Pudukottai Lok Sabha constituency under delimitation, which became a major poll issue in 2009, has resurfaced again with some candidates promising to work for the restoration of the constituency.

Fabrication units, which form the industrial backbone of the constituency, have been moving from one crisis to another. As the units and the public sector major BHEL are battling recession, fostering the industry is yet another popular promise of the candidates.