With Prime Minister Narendra Modi exhorting Members of Parliament (MPs) to adopt a village each in their constituency and convert it into a model of development, from the ramparts of the Red Fort this Independence Day, expectations were high that this will transform the lives of residents in the hinterland.
Even as Chandigarh MP Kirron Kher has now acted and adopted a village, her past promises to work on villages are yet to turn into reality, especially in ensuring cleanliness.
In Chandigarh, today we profile one of the oldest villages in the city, Burail, located in Sector 45 with a population of 25,000. In spite of being in the middle of the city, cleanliness seems to be one of the last priorities of the municipal corporation or the MP.
Kirron’s pre-poll promise belied
Before the Lok Sabha elections in the city in April, then BJP candidate and now MP Kirron Kher had promised to transform Chandigarh villages into a model to emulate on the lines of Gujarat.
However, when the state of hygiene has not improved, expecting anything more could only be a mistake. Villagers complain that the MP has not even visited them after winning the elections.
The state of cleanliness
A visit to the village reveals heaps of garbage at all entry points, a blocked sewerage for past several months, stink everywhere, damaged roads and stagnant water that has turned into slush.
There are some small shops catering to items of daily necessities adjacent to Sector 45-A and it really is no surprise to find garbage piled up on roadsides.
Discarded wheels, packing material, iron and steel rods can be seen dumped outside shops.
councillor mute spectator
Congress councillor of the area Rana Kashmiri Devi (66), who was elected as the senior deputy mayor of the House in 2013, has simply chosen to remain a mute spectator as cleanliness in Burail has gone for a toss.
Over the past three years, Rana has spoken not even once in monthly House meetings. Her attendance in the House has also been poor with only 14 meetings being graced by her presence over three years. She seems to have decided to brazen out her inability to work, as area residents are quite vocal. In spite of repeated attempts, she could not be contacted.
TOMORROW: Government schools