A face off between AIADMK and DMK in Coimbatore North

Residents’ major demands include infrastructure development, civic amenities

This will be the third Assembly election in the Coimbatore North Assembly constituency after the Election Commission of India carved out the constituency after the 2007 delimitation exercise by including areas that were spread over the then Coimbatore West, Coimbatore East and Perur Assembly constituencies.

The constituency is now spread over 19 wards of the Coimbatore Corporation, extending from Marudhamalai foothills in the west to Gandhi Managar in the east and comprising those areas that are north of the NSR Road in Saibaba Colony and Sanganoor Road.

Though the constituency is within the municipal limits, it has both urban and peri-urban characteristics, the latter predominant in Vadavalli and Veerakeralam, which became a part of the city only a decade ago.

In the last two Assembly election, the AIADMK had won the seat contesting against the DMK. In the 2011 election, former Coimbatore Mayor T. Malaravan defeated M. Veeragopal by 40,098 votes. In the last election, P.R.G. Arunkumar defeated Meena Logu by 7,724 votes.

In the ensuing election, the AIADMK will have a direct face-off with DMK as the former has pitted Amman K. Arjunan against DMK’s V.M. Shanmugasundaram. And, incidentally, both the nominees began their public life by being representatives in local bodies.

The constituency residents’ major demands included infrastructure development, civic amenities and resolving the long-pending issue of compensation for those who sold their lands for the establishment of Bharathiar University.

Mr. Arunkumar, the incumbent, said among his achievements he would like to highlight the State government allotting over ₹ 35 crore for widening the Textool bridge-Surya Hospital stretch of Sathyamangalam Road, an elevator to take devotees from the car parking lot to the Marudhamalai temple, a bus terminus in Vadavalli and commissioning of the Kavundampalayam-Vadavalli drinking water supply augmentation scheme.

But very little had been done on the ground, countered K.K Pudur resident M. Ravi. There’s no electric crematorium in and around Saibaba Colony or Sanganoor. Mr. Arunkumar had also failed to have the MGR Wholesale Vegetable Market shifted to a more spacious place, dredge the Sanganoor Canal or build a road along the Canal, connecting Mettupalayam Road to Sathyamangalam Road and areas east thereof.

Consumer activist K. Kathirmathiyon said Vadavalli and Veerakeralam residents wanted Edayarpalayam Road and Thudiyalur Road widened for better connectivity to the northern parts of the city.

The next MLA should also focus on improving the amenities at the Marudhamalai foothills and work to have good infrastructure for the weekly market. And, in added areas, he should ensure that the civic amenities were on a par with the city – more water, underground drainage and storm water drainage system.

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