Constituency round-up: Infrastructure woes a key concern for voters in Velachery

TN Assembly Elections 2021

The impossible-to-navigate Velachery Roads. Pic: Bhavani AP

Velachery constituency consists of West Adyar, Tharamani, Sastri Nagar, Indra Nagar, Besant Nagar, Thiruvanmiyur and Velachery localities. The entire area has excellent connectivity to all corners of the city, but suffers from traffic congestion and flooding issues during monsoons.

The constituency is also home to a part of the city’s famed IT expressway with almost 70 offices in 20 buildings. The demographic is a mix of upper middle class and middle class residents. There is a sizable migrant population due to the availability of employment in the construction and IT industries that dominate the area.

Representative image

Votes cast (2016) 

  • Total number of voters : 174908 (excluding postal votes)
  • Male voters : 88433
  • Female voters : 86475
  • Third gender : 0
  • Polling percentage :  58.36

Read more: Want to ensure Velachery has infra at par with Singapore: MNM candidate Santhosh Babu

2016 Election Results

PartyCandidateVotes acquiredPercentage of votes cast
(As per ECI website)
DMKVagai Chandrasekar70,13939.96
AIADMKC Munusamy61,26734.91
BJPP Sritharan14,4728.25
DMDKV N Rajan9,6545.50
PMKVinoba Bhoopathy6,8093.88

MLA Profile 2016

  • Name: Vagai Chandrasekar
  • Party: DMK (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam)
  • Age: 59
  • Contact Number: 9003219505
  • Criminal cases: None
  • Margin of victory: 8872 votes

Source: ECI

Promises made

  • Reducing flooding, building stormwater drains
  • Widening Tharamani link road
  • Building three flyovers to ease congestion
  • Beautification of Velachery lake
  • Rooftop solar connections across the constituency

Source: The Times of India

In the news

  • Velachery MLA Vagai Chandrasekhar urged the government to reopen the Krishna gate of IIT campus. Due of its closure, students of Kendriya Vidyalaya and Vanavani schools within campus had been affected. He added that these lands were acquired in 1964 from the Adi Dravidar community and urged the authorities to respect their feelings by providing easy passage to the members of the community who live in the vicinity.    
  • A TUCS ration shop was constructed by the MLA using funds from his MLA Area Development Scheme. The new building was constructed after demands from the residents, as the older building where the shop had been functioning, had issues of sewage seepage and lack of space.
  • MLA Chandrasekar was also part of a protest held by the DMK outside rations shops across the state demanding proper supply of essential commodities.
  • MLA Chandrasekar was also detained while protesting outside the Raj Bhavan, demanding recall of Governor Banwarilal Purohit.

Know your candidates

A list of all the candidates and their basic information, contesting on various tickets for Velachery.

Incumbent MLA Vagai Chandrasekar of DMK did not get a shot at re-election as the DMK allocated the Velachery seat to its ally the Indian National Congress. Congress has fielded JMH Aasaan Maulaana, with M K Ashok of the AIADMK and Dr Santhosh Babu of MNM being the other key contestants. NamePartyAgeOccupationNo. of criminal Cases
1V.L.REVATHI JAYAKUMARITamil Nadu Ilangyar Katchi50Business/ BANil
3J.VICTOR PAULRepublican Party of India (Athawale)40Driver/ Class 10Nil
4M.VIGNESHIndependent29Transport Business/ B.ANil
5K.KANNANIndependent49Business/ B.CANil
6JMH.AASSAN  MAULAANAIndian National Congress36Business/ MBANil
7S.GOKULIndependent31Real Estate/ B.ComNil
8A.TAMIL AZHAGANIndependent 32Labourer/ Class 10Nil
9S.JOTHI KANNANIndependent32Business/ Class 102 pending cases, 0 convictions
10Dr. SANTHOSH BABU Makkal Needhi Maiam53Teacher/MPMNil
11D VENKATESHANAnaithu Makkal Arasiyal Katchi41Cable Operator/ B.ComNil
12MURALI BALAJIIndependent29Business Consultant/ MBANil
13V.HARIHARANIndependent32Builder/ Class 10Nil
14M KEERTHANANaam Tamilar Katchi28House Wife/ B.TechNil
15G.YESUDASANIndependent69N/A/ MBANil
16N.MAHALAKSHMIIndependent57Farmer/ B.ScNil
17A.CHANDRANIndependent61Real estate/ Class 10Nil
18M.CHANDRABOSEAmma Makkal Munnettra Kazagam61Business/ MANil
19R.KANCHANATamizhaga Murpokku Makkal Katchi45Cook/ M.ComNil
20GEETHANew Generation People’s Party48Beautician/ Class 9Nil
21V.SIVARAMAN Independent69Nil
23C.VELUBahujan Samaj Party31Nil

Source : ECI. To know more about the candidates, check their affidavits here.

Key Issues 

  • The inordinate delay in completion of the Velachery flyover has resulted in people going via Medavakkam, taking a circuitous route. The work has also worsened the quality of the road. “People have to ride through pothole-filled roads amid never-ending traffic,” said Sukumaran V, a motorist.
  • Water stagnation is another serious issue. Localities built on a water body see frequent clogging during the rainy season. “The Government needs to desilt, deepen and widen the existing storm water drains to make the water flow and drain into Veerangal Odai directly,” said Geeta Ganesh, Secretary of AGS Colony Welfare association. 
  • Roads are not milled before relaying, leading to poor quality overall. Across the constituency, roads were laid a few months ago, in the run up to the elections. However, as they were not milled, the height of the road has increased. “The lack of a proper plan and design for these roads has been one of the reasons behind flooding. As the height of the roads increased, houses that were constructed decades ago were no longer at the level of the roads, but at a sunken level. Due to this, water enters these houses, even after a brief spell of rain,” said Gowri Shankar, a resident. 

Read more: Pending infra projects worth nearly Rs 3000 crore adding to Chennai’s commute woes

  • A beach at Fourth Seaward Road in the Thiruvanmiyur area needs to be remodeled, to keep a check on miscreants. This includes replacement of vandalised street lights and more seating arrangements. Residents also request the opening of Sivagamipuram park which has been closed for unspecified reasons. A few locals said cleaning and maintenance works were carried out, it was open for two weeks to visitors and again closed without any notice.
  • Residents of Adyar have raised complaints about increasing chain snatching events. Further, senior citizens and women fear stepping out during evening hours, scared for their own safety.

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About Syed Umar Ahmed 9 Articles
Syed Umar Ahmed is an aspiring journalist, travel enthusiast, frontiersman and engineer. He tweets at @UmarAhm96429580