“Give us a chance, we will show the change”, is what parties, other than the ruling and the main Opposition, and independent candidates, are telling voters of Sholinganallur zone of Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC).
Independent candidate in ward 200, A. C. Murugavel, who works in the housekeeping section of an IT company on Rajiv Gandhi Salai, said he chose to contest in the civic elections so that he can highlight the issues of his area.
“We were brought here from core city 13 years ago, but we still do not have even basic facilities, including safe drinking water and sewer lines. I consider this election an an opportunity for me to meet the people and hear their grievances,” he said.
R. Nagarajan, who runs a two-wheeler repair shop in Thoraipakkam and is the BJP candidate for ward 193, says he has been in the locality for 25 years and has seen the issues remain the same.
The zone, the tail end of the GCC, forms part of the Sholinganallur Assembly constituency and has areas such as Mettukuppam, Thoraipakkam,Karapakkam and Sholinganallur. Though part of the busy Rajiv Gandhi Salai, the city’s IT corridor runs through it, several areas are yet to see piped water supply or sewer networks.
G. Sathish, a long-time resident of Sholinganallur, said although over the years infrastructure like roads and lights had improved, the zone still had requirements, including removal of encroachments on marshland on Semmanchery and Thoraipakkam to reduce flooding. “A study done several years ago on flooding by senior IAS officer Vikram Kapur needs to be implemented to reduce the suffering of residents during monsoon,” he said.
Many residents like those who are part of the Federation of OMR Resident Associations (FOMRRA) hope that the local body representatives, who are to be elected this time, would be able to set right long-pending issues. “The GCC has not had a town planner on its rolls for at least 10 years - we hope the newly elected council appoints one immediately,” said Harsha Koda, co-founder, FOMRRA.