In addition, Virugambakkam residents hope for more employment opportunities
Every election, voters of Virugambakkam constituency pin their hopes on the candidates, wishing that there will come a time when they can travel without getting caught in traffic snarls or ride home safely on non-waterlogged streets during the monsoon. Till now, they have been disappointed.
With an electorate of 2.91 lakh, Virugambakkam, comprising areas like Virugambakkam, Saligramam, parts of Arumbakkam and Koyambedu and K.K. Nagar, was formed after the delimitation exercise. The electorate is a combination of middle class and lower-middle class voters, and many are irked by their continuous struggle with traffic congestion and flooding.
S. Arumainathan, president, Virugambakkam Residents’ Welfare Association, said while roads in most areas are in good shape, places like Sai Nagar, Tarachand Nagar, Rajaji Colony and Sanjay Gandhi Nagar suffer from overflow of sewage often. “Also, there are quite a few areas which grapple with flooding during monsoon. We need a few more mini-pumping stations for handling this problem. We want these issues to be resolved at the earliest,” he demanded.
Ekambaram, who runs a small shop, said, “We are tired of hearing the promises of freebies from the major parties. No one wants anything for free here. If they set right the civic issues, generate more jobs and control inflation that ruins our business, we will be happy.”
AIADMK’s V.N. Virugai Ravi, who represents the constituency, said the widening of Kaliamman Koil Street was under way and nearly 1.5 km of the work had been finished so far.
“Even the flooding has substantially reduced in many areas and the minute residents call me, I go to the spot with a team to pump out water. Also, we extensively carry out desilting of stormwater drains and the Virugambakkam canal too,” he said.
But some of the infrastructural development in recent years can be attributed to the IAS officers quarters that has come up in Nerkundram.
This election, DMK has fielded A.M.V. Prabhakar Raja against Mr. Ravi. Mr. Prabhakar Raja is a youth wing organiser and son of Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangam Peramaippu leader Vikrama Raja.
The day his candidature was announced former councillor K. Thanasekaran protested along with his supporters for denying him the ticket. The DMK candidate is, however, upbeat.
“The stormwater drains continue to be in a bad shape, which results in flooding. They will be my first priority if given a chance,” he said. “The MLA office will function through the day to redress public grievances,” he added.
While lyricist Snehan is seeking votes on the Makkal Needhi Maiam ticket, K. Vidhubalan is contesting from the AMMK camp.
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