Electors are hoping for a fillip to several projects that have been pending for long In the new Collector’s office complex in the recently formed Chengalpattu district, construction is in full swing for an office for the District Rural Development Agency and several other departments. The district was created on November 29, 2019, with the bifurcation of Kancheepuram. Many departments are yet to function fully with their own offices. The 2021 Assembly election will be the first election that Chengalpattu will face as a district headquarters. Consequently, the electorate is hoping for a fillip to several infrastructure projects that have pending for long. Important among them are the civic issues in the municipality, which is expected to expand with a proposal to annex 14 village panchayats on the periphery. Residents, however, say there is a lot to be done in the existing geographical limits. E. Sankar, a resident associated with the Communist Party of India (Marxist), says the underground drainage system has not been successfully implemented, with a large amount of sewage being let into Kolavai lake. Kolavai, one of the largest lakes in the district with a capacity of 476.69 mcft, can now hold only 333.68 mcft as it has not been desilted. A proposal made by the district administration to desilt the lake, strengthen its bunds and develop its tourism potential at a cost of ₹87.24 crore acknowledges the need to prevent further pollution. The railway junction and the bus terminal are located on the opposite sides of the road. “The road is chaotic, particularly in the mornings and evenings, with a large number of people trying to cross and buses moving in and out of the terminal,” says S. Saravanan, who runs a shop in the locality. The demand for a foot-over bridge linking the bus terminal to the platform of the junction remains unmet. A subway for vehicles across the rail track near the junction has been left partially completed; sewage has filled the ground dug for it. The alternative for motorists is to take a detour and use the over-bridge nearby. However, pedestrians and cyclists crossing the rail track is a common sight. “The government must either take steps to complete the subway work or at least close the ground excavated for it,” says K. Jayaraman, a resident. A similar project, but having a larger impact, is the rail over-bridge at Singaperumal Koil that is under construction for several years, causing huge traffic congestion at the level crossing near the railway station there every day. The Integrated Vaccine Complex, a Central government project considered to be of national importance, is yet to realise its intended potential. M. Varalakshmi of the DMK is the sitting MLA, who defeated R. Kamalakkannan of the AIADMK in the 2016 election by 26,292 votes. Since 2001, the constituency has voted alternatively for parties that were part of the alliances led by either the AIADMK or the DMK. In 2001 and 2006, the Pattali Makkal Katchi, which aligned with the AIADMK and the DMK respectively, won the election. In 2011, the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam won, having contested as an ally of the AIADMK.

Publisher Name: The Hindu


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