Constituency round-up: No MLA till date has acted on relocating dumpyard, say voters in Perambur


A view of Captain Cotton Canal. Pic: C R Balaji

Perambur is one of the constituencies in the northern part of the city. Much like other localities in North Chennai, it is a constituency primarily dominated by the working class. 

Some of the areas that fall under Perambur Constituency are Vyasarpadi, parts of Kodungaiyur, parts of Perambur, Erukkancherry, Chinnandimadam, Lachumiamman Nagar, Kaviarasu Kannadasan Nagar, M.K.B Nagar and New Kamaraj Nagar. 

Representative image.

AIADMK candidate Vetrivel was elected as the MLA of Perambur constituency in the 2016 polls with 79,974 votes. Following the death of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, however, the party was split and Vetrivel joined TTV Dhinakaran’s Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) as treasurer. Subsequently, Vetrivel and 17 other MLAs were disqualified for withdrawing support to Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami. 

In the by-election conducted in 2019, R D Shekar (DMK) was elected as the MLA of Perambur constituency.

Votes cast (2016)

  • Total number of voters: 187906
  • Male Voters: 95474
  • Female voters: 92432 
  • Third gender: 0
  • Polling percentage: 65.01%

2019 By-election Results

R. D. Shekar won by a margin of 68,023 votes

R. D. ShekarDMK106394
R. S. RaajeshAIDMK38371
U. PriyadarshiniMNM20508
S. Merlin SuganthiNTK8611
P. VetrivelAMMK6281
S.Devi Dasan (Velu)Pyramid Party of India122
J. MohanrajJebamani Janata106

Source: TN Elections

Incumbent MLA Profile

  • Name: R D Shekar 
  • Party: DMK
  • Age: 54
  • Criminal cases: Nil
  • Education: High School

Read more: Voting in the time of COVID-19: Chennai voters, check out this detailed guide

In the news

While campaigning for the by-elections, the incumbent MLA had promised to shift the dump yard if elected to power. R D Shekar had commented that he could take the matter to bureaucrats and added that he would raise the problem during the Assembly session. However, the promise remains unfulfilled.

Know your candidates this time

S. NoNamePartyAgeEducation/OccupationCriminal Cases
1Shekar R DDravida Munnetra Kazhagam54Business/High schoolNil
2Dhanapalan N RAll India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam69Business/M.ANil
3Ponnusamy AMakkal Needhi Maiam46Milk deliver/Class 8Nil
4Soosai M ARepublican Party of India (Athawale)57Social worker/LiterateNil
5Merlin Suganthi. SNaam Tamilar Katchi35Affidavit not uploadedNil
6Sathish Kumar SIndependent31Daily wage/Class 9Nil
7Sekar PIndependent66Business/Class 5Nil
8Parthipan PIndependent39Advocate/M.LNil
9Vinothkumar GIndependent30Driver/Class 8Nil
10Selvaraj RIndependent49Daily wage/Class 10Nil
11Udayakumar SIndependent48Business/Class 10Nil
12Vasanthakumar MIndependent43Real estate/Class 7Nil
13Rajesh KIndependent32Driver/Class 5Nil
14Rajesh Kumar SIndependent46Business/DEENil
15Satheesh JIndependent45Business/Class 9Nil
16Saravana Perumal RIndependent47Self-employed, social activist/B.Tech, MFCNil
17Prem Anand JIndependent32Advocate/M.Com, MBA, MSW, BLNil
18Venkatesh LIndependent45Small business/Class 12Nil
19Kadhiravan MIndependent53Business/Class 12Nil
20Lakshmi Narayan EAmma Makkal Munnettra Kazagam48Business/Class 93 pending cases; 0 convictions
21Suresh CBahujan Samaj Party37Driver/Class 10Nil
22Sebastin JSocialist Unity Centre of India (Communist) 44Politician/Class 10Nil

Source: ECI. Check the detailed affidavits of candidates here.

Read more: Will visit a ward every day if elected: MNM candidate from Perambur

Key issues of the constituency

As in many other parts of the city, the condition of roads in the Perambur constituency is deplorable. Residents and commuters say that major roads, including Dr Ambedkar Road in Vyasarpadi, Perambur Barracks Road and Perambur High Road, crumble every few years. “The roads are not maintained well, become unmotorable within a few months of re-laying and are difficult to navigate during the monsoons. There appears to be no permanent solution in sight,” says Karan Karki, a writer and novelist based in Vyasarpadi.

The Kodungaiyur dump yard is the elephant in the room in Perambur constituency. It is one of the longest pending demands from North Chennai residents. Residents’ welfare associations in the locality state that none of the past MLAs — whether from the DMK, AIADMK and CPI(M) — fulfilled the promise of shifting the yard.

Read more: Nearly a third of Kodungaiyur residents have difficulty breathing, but no action on waste dump

As several low-income families live near the dump yard, children residing in the proximity of the dump yard end up as child labour working at the site. “At any given time in a day, we can see at least five children picking up bottles, needles, copper items and the likes. Now with online classes, the children are distracted and spend time scouting for petty things in the yard,” noted Karunanithi Nagamuthu, a social activist.

The 3-km length Captain Cotton Canal in Erukkancheri is another pain point. It isthe prime reason behind Vyasarpadi getting flooded during heavy rains. “The outlet of Retteri lake joins with the Canal and carries the sewage generated in localities like Korattur, Kolathur, etc. The civic body does not look beyond desilting once a year. It can be restored and converted into a park,” Karunanithi says.

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About Bhavani Prabhakar 146 Articles
Bhavani Prabhakar was Staff Reporter at Citizen Matters Chennai.