In the 2006 Assembly election, the total electorate in Villivakkam constituency was a whopping 9.41 lakh. Compared to this, the number of voters, following the delimitation done for this election, has come down to 1.82 lakh. Once the largest Assembly constituency, Villivakkam has been broken up to create new constituencies. Ambattur, Maduravoyal, Kolathur, Madhavaram and Virugampakkam are the new constituencies that have been carved out from Villivakkam as part of the delimitation.
Villivakkam has also absorbed some areas of the erstwhile Purasawalkam constituency.
It, however, retains its original characteristic of a mixed population from different economic strata.
The constituency now comprise Divisions 55 to 58 and 63 and 64 of Chennai Corporation - Viduthalai Guruswamy Nagar (South) (Division 55), Ayanavaram (56), Nagammaiyar Nagar (South) (57), Panneerselvam Nagar (58), Villivakkam (North) (63) and Villivakkam (South) (64).
While a sizeable population in Villivakkam and ICF comprise railway and private company employees, Ayanavaram, the new addition in the constituency, is predominantly a labour-oriented area and some slums. Parts of Anna Nagar West also form part of the constituency.
Villivakkam constituency is set to witness a tough fight with senior politicians from the two major regional political parties in the fray. While K. Anbazhagan, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam's general secretary, has shifted from Harbour constituency to contest here, J.C.D. Prabhakar, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam candidate, is making a comeback after 1984. He contested from Villivakkam twice and was elected MLA in 1980.
Residents said that the DMK had a stronghold over the constituency and won the last two times. In 2006, B. Ranganathan won against G. Kalan with a margin of 30,116. The voters' turnout then was nearly 64.93 per cent. Pointing out that it was not a new constituency for him, Mr.Anbazhagan said “I won from Purasawalkam constituency in 1971, 1977 and 1980.
I started the ICF (Integral Coach Factory) Labour Union and familiar with problems of the area. I am also aware of the localities and people's demands.” He is confident that various projects and welfare schemes implemented by the DMK government would help him win. Mr. Prabhakar is focussing on local issues in his campaign. “I have earned a reputation of being an easily accessible elected representative. People of several areas have complaints about drinking water of poor quality and bad roads. I introduced sodium vapour lamps on New Avadi Road when I was MLA.”
While the new road over bridge at Perambur Locoworks, connecting northern parts of the city with Ayanavaram, has received appreciation, the slow progress of the work on the vehicular subway near Villivakkam railway station is likely to be a talking point in the election.
The work on the project was started in 2009. Residents said motorists have to wait long hours in traffic or take a detour to reach other places as the subway project has not been completed.
They complained that the elected representatives do not visit the area except during some public functions.
P.K. Chittibabu, secretary, Sidco Nagar Residents' Welfare Association, said many interior roads are damaged and the long-pending demand of taking the overhead electric distribution lines underground has not been fulfilled.
Residents of Agathiar Nagar complained that the elected representatives have not paid heed to their representations be it to repair the stormwater drain or address the issue of sewage getting mixed with drinking water. S. Bhoopathy, a resident of the locality said distribution of free colour televisions and flood relief assistance was not done properly. In Ayanavaram, the issues include the time taken to allot shops at the Palavoyal market complex, inadequate drinking water supply and frequent sewage problems.
V.R. Chandran, a resident of Konnur High Road, said the condition of arterial roads has improved in recent months.
However, measures are needed to decongest Konnur High Road. Interior roads and stormwater drain network need more attention. Garbage disposal and mosquito breeding are the other problems faced by residents of the constituency.
The total electorate in Villivakkam constituency, as on January 1 this year, was 91,269 male and 91,688 female and 12 transgender. There are 212 polling booths in the constituency.