In the municipal council elections in this town, considered to be dominated by SAD leader and chief parliamentary secretary NK Sharma, the SAD-BJP already seems to be sitting pretty with 11 of the 31 seats already in its kitty, needing another five seats to have a majority in the council. At most of the seats where this has happened, there has been a withdrawal of nominations and also some being rejected during scrutiny.
Interestingly, the number of wards here has increased from 15 to 31 and 71 candidates are in the fray.
Those who have got walkovers include two brothers of CPS NK Sharma, after the opposition candidates withdrew candidature. There have also been allegations, a group of independents supported by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) have alleged that the SAD-BJP has threatened candidates.
The Congress, meanwhile, has fielded candidates in only seven wards, and barely seems to be in the contest.
A group of independents, however, are displaying considerable enthusiasm in their fight with the SAD-BJP candidates.
A ward reserved for women has six candidates in the fray with those from the SAD, the Congress and the independents.
Traffic chaos remains the main problem at the Zirakpur highway, with it taking more than an hour to cross the flyover during peak hours. Encroachments on the service lane by the local vendors add to the chaos.
A resident, Harbant Singh Jalal, said the city was next to the most planned city of the state and the Punjab government wanted to make it a planned city, but there was no plan for the same.
An improper drainage system, along with ill-managed system of garbage disposal, has led to unhygienic conditions in localities in the town. Baltana and other adjoining areas remain the most hit, with rains worsening the situation.
Light showers inundate the city and commuting becomes a nightmare. HGarbage and stagnant water wreak havoc, especially in the low-lying areas.
Bad roads, no parks
The narrow streets of the city are in bad shape, while the main roads are even worse. Only two public parks at Lohgarh and Dhakoli had been constructed in the town for convenience of the residents. The town has no separate civil hospital in the town and Dera Bassi remains the option, even in an emergency.
Vijay Mukund, a resident, said thought the town was part of Chandigarh’s Master Plan, but nothing was updated accordingly.
Number of seats: 31
Total number of registered voters: 79,481
Male voters: 41,416
Female voters: 38,065
Wards reserved for SC candidates 2
Wards reserved for women 10
Wards reserved for SC women 1
Wards reserved for OBC 1
line up of contestants
Last time’s results
Total wards 15
SAD got four seats and the party was lead by late Captain Kanwaljit Singh. NK Sharma had contested independently and got 11 seats. Later, the NK Sharma joined the SAD party and was declared as president of the council for 3 years.
Budget for 2010-15
Rs 232 crore: Income
Rs 209 crore: Expenditure
Traffic chaos is a major problem. The flyover has not helped as encroachments in service lanes have increased. Avinash Kumar, resident of Neelkanth Enclave.
The number of police stations needs to be increased as the crime rate has risen considerably. One station is not enough. Neelam Rana, resident of Simran Apartments.
Insanitation needs urgent attention. Besides, the authorities need to ensure clean drinking water supply. Pawanjeet Kaur, resident of Ekta Vihar.
There should be an opposition party in the council, so that residents’ issues can be addressed. This was missing. Sanjeev Rana, resident of Tribune Colony, Baltana.