Famous across the state for its cracker market Kurali, located about 20 km from SAS Nagar, is crying for basic amenities. Besides, the town, which has a population of nearly 30,000 is facing the major problem of traffic congestion on national highway-21.
Though 74 candidates are in fray for 17 seats in the municipal council elections scheduled on February 25, strong resentment prevails among residents over the traffic congestion, sewerage problem and drainage system in the township.
They say members elected in the past never took any initiative to sort out the issues, and this time too, they had no agenda pertaining to development of the town.
Over five years ago, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had assured that sewerage work in town would be completed within a year, and if not the contractor would be blacklisted. Yet, the work remains unfinished.
Since its inception in 1959, Kurali’s municipal council has only had independent members.
This year around, while the SAD- BJP candidates are contesting on all seats, the Congress has not fielded any candidate. So the Akali Dal candidates only have to face contest from independents. Former MC president Harmesh Kumar said, “I tried my best to sort out the issue of sewerage, but the state government did not give us any grant. Even the sewerage work was initiated under a central government scheme. As far as the traffic congestion is concerned, we have written to the authorities concerned for a bypass, but are still awaiting a reply.”
One of the major issues being faced by the town is traffic congestion at the light points on NH-21. Residents complain that because of a single road from Kharar, traffic snarls were any everyday affair. Even the bridge near the town on NH-21 is very narrow. In case of an accident, the road gets blocked completely, leaving commuters waiting for hours.
Incomplete sewerage work
Five years ago, sewerage work began in the town and Punjab CM assured that if the contractor completed the work in a year, he would be awarded with a gold medal, but in case he did not complete it, he would be blacklisted. Surprisingly, neither the work was completed nor the contractor was blacklisted.
Due to faulty drainage system, waterlogging is witnessed in some parts of the town, including Mast Colony, Mata Rani Chowk, Khalsa School and civil hospital road. Every time it rains, water accumulates and remains stagnant for days, causing great inconvenience to residents, especially pedestrians.
Stray cattle menace
With non-functional streetlights and stray cattle menace, accidents take place almost daily. Surprisingly, MC has not taken any step to curb the menace. No wonder, as the MC has no truck for the purpose, and a staff of only six to deal with the menace.
Internal roads in bad shape
A visit to the town revealed the appalling state of the roads. Residents says despite repeated requests, the authorities concerned are not bothered and roads have been lying broken for the past five years.