The voters of Ward 6 in the city are ready to elect their municipal corporation representative for another one year. The death of councillor Parshotam Lal Gargi a year ago forced the by-election.
The Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) has fielded Gargi's wife, Madhu, who will take on Iqbal Singh Dhillon of the Congress in Thursday's battle for 4,400 votes. In the latest election for the Bathinda assembly seat, Saroop Chand Singla of the Shiromani Akali Dal had received 500 more votes than Harmander Jassi of the Congress from the localities that make up this ward.
Kamla Nehru Colony, Patel Nagar, Green Avenue, Bharat Nagar, and portions of Jujar Singh Nagar and North State fall in the ward. Kamla Nehru Colony, Patel Nagar, Bharat Nagar, and North State are in the organised sector where the improvement trust and MC do all the development, while Green Avenue and Jujar Singh Nagar came up in an unorganised way but now are recognised.
Inefficient systems of water supply, sewerage, and sanitation are the ward's main problems. "There are no fixed hours for water supply," said Harvinder Singh, a government employee. "Sometimes, we have to wake up at midnight to fill our buckets."
Most part of the ward is above the normal level of the city, so it's hard to take water to its taps. Some parts of the sewerage network are old and rusty. The garbage dump at Bharat Nagar is a source of stink. The space reserved for a community hall is too small to construct one. At Patel Nagar, the improvement trust collects interest on the enhanced mortgage for the land acquired. "The interest has almost exceeded the value of enhancement," said Baljit Kaur, a local woman. "The trust should have mercy on us."
The main opponents both live in Ward 6. Congressman Iqbal Singh claims to be contesting on issues. "I am committed to solving the problems," he said. "The localities are short of basic amenities, and I will fight for better conditions."
Madhu Gargi on the other hand hopes to follow her late husband's legacy. "The death of my husband stalled development. He was a popular leader," said Madhu Gargi. "I seek a vote to be able to help people as he did."