Despite earning the maximum revenue for the state exchequer, the Millennium City has always got a raw deal when it comes to infrastructure or development.
The recently-announced budget for the 2013-14 fiscal, however, is indicative of the changed stance of the Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Haryana government. The chief minister has allocated a lion’s share of Rs 605.48 crore for Gurgaon of the total Rs 890 crore for various districts in the entire state.
Residents, however, feel that the move is part of the pre-poll sops ahead of the general elections in 2014.
Realising the potential and need for growth in Gurgaon, Hooda visited the city more than a dozen times in the last six months. The government has drawn a lot of flak for neglecting the southern part of the state for years.
The new projects focus mainly on road maintenance, flyovers, storm and sewer drains, and railway overbridges among others.
The state has also given green signal to a flyover project at Subhash Chowk and strengthening of the existing Mehrauli-Gurgaon Road (Iffco Chowk to Delhi border) at a cost of Rs 60 crore.
During his latest visit to Gurgaon, Hooda instructed officials of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) and Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) to repair all city roads — internal and external — adding that there was no dearth of funds.
“Only roads where the CM visited have been repaired. Why do instructions to repair roads come just ahead of elections? This is sad,” said VK Srivastav, a resident of South City.
The CM office, meanwhile, refused to buy the notion. “This is wrong. The government had issued instructions last year to tighten the noose around contractors. Assembly polls are two years away while the Parliament election is next year,” said a spokesperson.
Some respite for ‘Gaddha Lok’
Rechristened by residents as ‘Gaddha Lok’ due to potholed roads
After HT highlighted the problem of potholes in Sushant Lok-1 and how residents had rechristened it as ‘Gaddha Lok’, the developer swung into action and repaired some patches in A Block.
On March 2, angry residents put up several banners against the developer of the upscale locality for failing to maintaining the colony roads.
“The developer called us for a meeting and assured us that all potholes will be fixed in all blocks and repairs will be carried out wherever required. We are happy that the developer has finally woken up and is taking action,” said Anil Sharma, general secretary, Sushant Lok, RWA.
He added that some roads around Sushant Arcade and Gold Souk are still in a bad state and the developer has been urged to repair them too.
Residents attributed the action to the HT report. “Action is taken only if the media highlights it or when elections are round the corner,” said Harsh Lohit, a resident of Laburnum Apartments.
Smooth drive only for VIPs
Gairatpur Bas village
Main road repaired ahead of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s visit
Residents of Gairatpur Bas village are enjoying a smooth ride on the main approach road these days, thanks to a visit by Congress president Sonia Gandhi last week. She was here to inaugurate a centre for autism patients.
A road patch of nearly 500-metre, which remained unrepaired for over ten years despite appeals by the village panchayat, was fixed ahead of Gandhi’s visit.
“Three days before her visit, the administration repaired the entire road and took all care to ensure a smooth drive for the Congress chief. We appreciate the act but we condemn it too. Why do road repairs have to wait for a VIP visit. Isn’t it the government’s responsibility to maintain roads as per standard norms?” fumed Radheshyam, a resident.
“The elections are scheduled for May next year and the administration wants to woo voters,” he added.
The neglected village was pleasantly surprised by the flurry of activity.