It is hard to believe that Maduravoyal is less than 30 minutes from the Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus (CMBT), Koyambedu. Once a part of the Villivakkam Assembly segment, the new constituency is battling lack of some very basic requirements.
To start with, most of the roads in the locality are muddy and unpaved with pavements hard to find. A belt known to be prone to acute water stagnation during the monsoon, the potholed roads not only result in bumpy rides, but also pose risks for the motorists.
Another major issue that residents point to is the lack of an efficient garbage disposal system. Several main and interior roads in the locality present a picture of complete neglect, with garbage piled up at corners. Garbage burning is a common sight on Maduravoyal Bypass Road.
According to R. Ramadoss, honorary president of Maduravoyal MMDA Colony Residents' Welfare Association, the poor supply of drinking water and absence of a good stormwater drain network, are two key issues ailing the colony with nearly 50,000 residents.
“Commuting in the locality is a nightmare for weeks after the monsoons. Children cannot reach school with clean uniforms. Vehicles going over the muddy roads results in so much dust that many of us who inhale it fall sick very often,” he says.
Four urban local bodies -- Maduravoyal Municipality, Valasaravakkam Municipality, three wards of Ambattur Municipality and Porur Town Panchayat – Ayapakkam, Adayalampattu, Vanagaram, Nolambur, Karambakkam, Nerkundram, Ramapuram – all village panchayats come within the constituency.
The issues are common in many pockets in Porur, Valasaravakkam, J.J. Nagar East, Nolambur and Ayapakkam.
S. Vellaichamy, councillor, Nerkundram pointed to a gross inadequacy of bus services in the area. On other issues ailing the constituency, “The Virugambakkam and Maduravoyal lakes have been completely encroached upon. The Porur lake is also not being maintained well,” he says.
The contest in this constituency is between Communist Party of India (Marxist) candidate G. Beem Rao and K. Selvam of Pattali Makkal Katchi.
Mr. Beem Rao has been with the CPI (M) for nearly three decades. In addition to better road, transport, water supply and garbage disposal facilities, he says there are important requirements such as a government arts and science college in the locality, besides upgradation of some government schools.
“The much –awaited Porur Grade Separator is also yet to become a reality. Residents from Ramavaram, who need to visit the Tahsildar office in Ambattur, have a difficult time commuting as there is no connecting bus service. There are also a lot of irregularities in land ownership here. I have promised to address these issues,” he says.
Politically, the CPI(M) camp sounds optimistic, for the cadre sees the opponent's side [PMK] as having a lot money power but lacking in having a connect with people irrespective of caste or class.
Mr. Selvam is banking on his good work as a party cadre. He hails from a family of agriculturists and his father Krishnan Naicker served as a president of Vanagaram village panchayat. PMK cadres are optimistic as Maduravoyal is the only assembly segment in the Sriperumbudur parliamentary constituency, where PMK scored over its rival DMK in the General Elections 2009. “This time we are partnering with the ruling party and our chances look brighter,” they said.
Mr. Selvam has assured the voters that apart from improving the basic infrastructure in many localities, steps to expedite implementation of underground drainage project for Ramapuram and Nerkundram villages are on his agenda. Roads in Nerkundram, Maduravoyal need to be repaired as they were badly damaged, which would be looked into immediately after the elections. He would also address Ayapakkam housing board residents' demand for better roads, drainage and lighting facilities, he adds.
The Maduravoyal constituency has as many as 2,69,541 voters, including 1,38,524 men, 1,30,991 women and 26 others. A total of 292 polling stations are there in the constituency, according to records provided by the Madhan K. Raj, Ambattur Deputy Tahsildar. There are 13 contestants in the fray.
Keywords: Tamil Nadu assembly polls