Tamil Nadu Assembly elections 2021: Constituency Watch

Shozhinganallur: State’s largest constituency in terms of electors lacks even basic infrastructure

It was in 2011 that most localities in this thickly populated Assembly constituency became part of the Chennai Corporation. But not much has changed thereafter, say residents of Shozhinganallur, the largest in the State in terms of the number of voters.

It has 6.94 lakh voters, as per the latest revision, and a large section of people lives in slum clearance board flats and don’t even get regular water supply.

“The rain was abundant this year, and while other localities get daily water supply, we are a cursed lot and get water once in three days. Sometimes we get supply once in four days. And with homes that measure less than 150 sq. ft. each, where will we store so much water?” complained Girija Kailasam, a resident of Kannagi Nagar.

Water supply and sewage remain an issue for other areas, too. Harsha Koda, co-founder, FOMRRA (Federation of OMR Resident Associations), said piped water supply and a sewage network still remained a distant dream for many localities. “Our other demands include removal of toll plazas on Rajiv Gandhi Salai since we are very much inside the Corporation limits, reclamation of the Pallikaranai marsh since it will help prevent floods and clean up the groundwater. The marsh, the Buckingham Canal, Oggiyam Madugu and connected lakes should be cleaned and developed like the Adyar Poonga,” he said.

The constituency, through which three major roads — Old Mahabalipuram Road, East Coast Road and Velachery-Tambaram Road — runs, still needs a proper transport plan. It also does not have a transport system like Metro Rail or MRTS to help a large number of IT workforce.

“The IT Corridor is like an island, and lacks connectivity with other roads. One cannot get that easily out of a traffic jam. We don’t have connecting roads. There are tiny bridges built across the Buckingham Canal and these get jammed every day. Even huge lorries cross them. They clamber over the space meant for pedestrians... We need flyovers at all signals, something they have been promising for over 10 years now,” said K. Bhavani, a Palavakkam resident.

Flooding is a major problem in many localities since they lack storm-water drains. “Even during the last monsoon, several areas got flooded and remained under water for over a week... The Corporation did not have enough motors to pump out the water,” said G. Murugesan, a resident.

This election, the constituency will be part of Chengalpattu district.

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Printable version | Apr 23, 2021 9:44:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/largest-assembly-constituency-lacks-even-basic-infrastructure/article33975096.ece

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