The Velachery constituency, which was carved out of the Tambaram constituency in the delimitation process in 2008, seems set to see an interesting battle between the two Dravidian parties in the upcoming Assembly election.
The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam(AIADMK) has fielded sitting Corporation councillor M.C. Munusamy against Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam(DMK)’s Vagai Chandrasekhar. Adding star power to the contest is actor ‘Kitty’ Raja Krishnamoorthy who is contesting as an independent candidate.
Making its debut in the Assembly election in 2011, the constituency elected AIADMK candidate M.K. Ashok.
Velachery, which comprises Divisions 177 to 182 of the Chennai Corporation, is yet to get back on its feet after it was ravaged by floods in December last.
Due to its proximity to the Pallikaranai marsh, Velachery has been facing severe flooding during heavy rains, as was the case in 2005 and 2008.
Residents pointed out that despite the civic body constructing a stormwater drain network in several parts of the ‘low-level’ areas, it was not enough to protect the locality from flooding.
Many residents’ welfare activists said the reason for flooding was the shrinking of the Pallikaranai marsh caused by encroachments and dumping of garbage.
S. Kumararaja, an activist from Velachery, complained that the growth of the locality into a commercial hub had resulted in traffic congestion; no measures had been initiated to ease it.
The residents also blamed the elected representatives for the slow progress of the widening of Taramani Link Road, which had been going on for more than 10 years.
The other complaints pertained to neglect on the infrastructure front, including the plan to construct a flyover at the Vijay Nagar junction and poor connectivity between West Velachery and Velachery.
The constituency, which includes Adyar (West), Adyar (East), Tiruvanmiyur (East), Tiruvanmiyur (West), Besant Nagar, Velachery, West Velachery and Taramani, is one of the biggest in the State. While many roads have been built in several areas of the constituency, residents of Adyar, Tiruvanmiyur and Besant Nagar complained about the growing vehicular population and traffic congestion.
H. Santhi, a resident of Pillayar Koil Street in Tiruvanmiyur, complained about the delay in launching the flyover project at Tiruvanmiyur Junction.