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Carpet belt reels under neglect

Well-known for carpet industry the world over, Bhadohi, which will go to polls on May 3, is in a squalid state, reports Prabhu Razdan.

india Updated: Apr 22, 2007 04:13 IST

Well-known for carpet industry the world over, Bhadohi, which will go to polls on May 3, is in a squalid state. The district, comprising three constituencies, Bhadohi, Gyanpur and Aurai, lacks civic amenities. Although the carpets made by the skilled workers of this district are sold in various parts of the world, foreigners avoid visiting the city because of its squalor. Thus, the sale of carpet has declined.

In view of this, the development issue will dominate the current assembly election in the district. A carpet exporter said, “You name any problem, and it is here in Bhadohi.”

In view of this, the development issue will dominate the current assembly election in the district. A carpet exporter said, “You name any problem, and it is here in Bhadohi.”

“There is no hospital, no bus stand and no proper drinking water system. Besides, road and railway services are very poor,” said Haji Shaukat Ali Ansari, another carpet exporter. “Carpet industry, which used to give employment to over 25 lakh people, has declined due to poor civic amenities,” added Ansari who is also president of the All-India Carpet Manufacturers’ Association. “We, it seems, are languishing in jail. We want to leave this township as early as possible,” was the refrain of a bank employee transferred recently. There are two kinds of people in the district – the haves and the have-nots. Also, there is sizeable number of middle-class people in the district.

“While development is the major issue here, no one talks about it,” said Rajesh Bahadur, a resident of Rajapura area. Twelve candidates are in the fray in Bhadohi city, and prominent among them are: Kashi Nath (Cong), Purnimani Pankaj (BJP) and Archina Saroj (BSP). The SP has repeated candidature of Dina Nath Bhasker. The SP has again fielded Vijay Mishra in Gyanpur. Mishra is facing 30 criminal cases.