For a town that is the transport lifeline of people from four states, Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, the neglect of Kharar, just 4-km from SAS Nagar, is astounding.
Its location, on the national highway-21, is both a boon and a bane. However, traffic congestion and bottlenecks have emerged as a major issue and residents are likely to give their vote to candidates that espouse the best solution to the mess.
Though the wards has been increased from 15 to 27 in the municipal council elections scheduled on February 25, but residents feel that, candidates are coming to seek their votes, but no one is talking of any agenda for the betterment of the city. Interestingly, nearly 80% of candidates are property dealers in city.
Due to the advantage of proximity to both Chandigarh and SAS Nagar, many new private residential colonies have come up in township, raising the population to nearly 1 lakh.
Residents say authorities have never even attempted to deal with the problem of gridlocked traffic, getting more complex by the day.
The bus stand, which is on the highway, is a major reason for jams in the town. With 10 cuts (for side roads) on the stretch from Balongi to Kharar bus stand, this is another reason for traffic congestion. The large number of protests held at the Kharar bus stand is also a great inconvenience to commuters.
In the 2009 elections, MC Kharar members contested as independent candidates on all 15 seats. Later, however, two joined the Congress and seven joined the SAD-BJP.
This time, the Congress has not fielded any candidate and the SAD-BJP is contesting on the party symbol on all wards.
Former Kharar municipal council president Gurprem Singh Romana, who is again contesting the elections, said a committee had approved the construction of the flyover and even the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had been approved, but to no avail. email@example.com
Traffic congestion is the major issue in town. At times, commuters are stuck for hours in jams as traffic of four states cross through the town. The Kharar bus stand remains the same bottleneck and yet nothing seems to be planned. Residents demand the creation of a flyover or carving out of an alternative route.
Shifting of bus stand
There is no independent functioning bus stand for Kharar. The present bus stand on the National Highway-21 remains the main cause of traffic congestion and in spite of repeated requests nothing has been done so far.
Encroachments on NH-21
The municipal council has failed to tackle the issue of encroachments on the highway, a major cause of accidents. The MC has not carried any aggressive drive to remove these. People park their vehicles on the road, which leads to accidents. Residents allege that it is well-oiled nexus between the MC authorities and the encroachers.
No parking for vehicles
The council has failed to make any provision for parking in the markets. The customers as well as shopkeepers park their vehicles on the roads only, causing great inconvenience. Not even a proposal has been mooted in this regard so far.
No parks in Kharar
There are no parks in town. Though open spaces are there, but authorities did not convert them into green belts or parks.
Internal roads in bad shape
Most of the internal roads in township are in bad shape. In spite of a huge budget, the MC did not float any tenders.
Number of seats: 27
Total number of registered voters: 67,195
Seats last year 15
Male voters: 34,849
Female voters: 32,346
Wards reserved for SC candidates 5
Wards reserved for women 7
Only SAD-BJP candidates are contesting on symbols from all wards.
The Congress had not fielded candidates are supporting independent candidates.
Last year’s results
Total wards 15
All 15 members contested as independent candidates. Later, two joined the Congress and seven joined the SAD-BJP.
Rs 50 croreallocated for development works
Rs 30 crore spent in 2014-15
Shifting of bus stand
Stray cattle menace
Non-functional street lights
It will be a dream come true, if the traffic congestion is taken care of. The government is apathetic over the matter. Kamaldeep Singh Tiwana, resident of Kharar.
It is strange that candidates coming to seek votes are without any agenda. Basic amenities in the town are lacking. Harinder Kaur Sidhu, social worker, Kharar.
Sanitation is one of the major problems. The menace of stray cattle and dog menance also needs to be tackled. Ashok Sharma, president, Beopar Mandal, Kharar.
The coming up of new colonies has led to rise in population. But the city is not equipped to take this pressure. Ranjit Singh Rai, advocate, Kharar court.