Erode (East) bypoll | Pollution from discharge of untreated textile effluents, traffic congestion remain a concern

Updated - February 26, 2023 08:27 pm IST

Published - February 26, 2023 12:38 am IST

A view of residential areas coming under Erode (East) Assembly constituency in Erode.

A view of residential areas coming under Erode (East) Assembly constituency in Erode. | Photo Credit: GOVARTHAN M

The discharge of untreated effluents by textile processing units into the Cauvery and the Kalingarayan Canal and congested roads are the perennial issues plaguing Erode (East).

E.K.M. Abdul Gani Textile Market and textile shops, the cattle shandy at Karungalpalayam, power looms and turmeric processing activities keep the city busy. The Corporation’s Central Bus Terminal and the railway station are present in the constituency. Of the 60 wards in the Corporation, 33 are in the constituency.

Major areas are Sarkar Periya Agraharam, Brahmana Periya Agraharam (B.P. Agraharam), Vairapalayam, Sarkar Chinna Agraharam, B.P. Chinna Agraharam, Veerappanchatiram, Manickampalayam Housing Unit, Karungalpalayam, Periyar Nagar, Railway Colony, Perundurai Road, Sampath Nagar and Erode Old City.

Pollution remains a grave concern for residents and farmers as 505 bleaching, dyeing and tannery units function at B.P. Agraharam and Veerappanchatiram. Despite having effluent treatment plants, many units discharge untreated effluents through channels and the drainage that feed into the Cauvery and the Kalingarayan Canal.

Since the Corporation’s underground sewerage scheme (UGSS) is yet to be completed in many areas, over 55 million litres per day of sewage continues to be let into the river and the canal. The long-pending demand for common effluent treatment plants is yet to materialise, despite assurances by political parties in the previous elections.

The city reels under traffic congestion as the demand for a flyover on Mettur Road and Perundurai Road and at Panneerselvam Park Junction; multi-level parking lots; additional bus stands; and an effective traffic management system is yet to be met.

Traffic congestion on Mettur Road causes hardship to road users in Erode.

Traffic congestion on Mettur Road causes hardship to road users in Erode. | Photo Credit: GOVARTHAN M

Tardy implementation of the UGSS, the delay in the re-laying of damaged roads and in the establishment of integrated parks for textiles, lack of jobs for educated youths are the other key issues.

Members of the Sengunthar Mudaliyar and Kongu Vellalar Gounder communities account for 55%-60% of the electors, while members of the minority communities and north Indians who have settled here form the rest of the electorate. The support of weavers, textile workers and government employees is crucial as they account for 10%-15% of the electorate.

After the delimitation, the winners of the elections were V.C. Chandhirakumar of the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam in 2011; K.S. Thennarasu of the AIADMK in 2016; and late E. Thirumahan Everaa in 2021.

A total of 77 candidates are in the fray now. Congress candidate E.V.K.S. Elangovan is the son of E.V.K. Sampath and the grandson of Periyar E.V. Ramasamy. He banks on the achievements of the DMK government in the last 22 months. He has promised the voters that he will continue the work left by his son Thirumahan Everaa. His campaign was strongly supported by DMK Ministers.

A board placed to inform people of the boundary for Erode (East) Assembly constituency in Erode

A board placed to inform people of the boundary for Erode (East) Assembly constituency in Erode | Photo Credit: GOVARTHAN M

He takes on AIADMK candidate K.S. Thennarasu, who is contesting on the two leaves symbol and banks on the development projects carried out in the constituency during the 10 years of AIADMK rule.

Also, the party’s campaign is centred on the claim that the DMK has failed to keep its election promises.

The other contestants are Menaka Navaneethan of the Naam Tamilar Katchi and S. Anand of the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam.

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