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Delhi’s vote for basic amenities

india Updated: Apr 07, 2012 01:59 IST
Atul Mathur

Candidates and political parties may make tall promises but in this municipal election Delhiites are very clear about what they want from candidates — better roads and cleaner surroundings.

In a recently conducted survey, Delhiites said sanitation, roads and parking facilities were the three main areas the incumbent local government in Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) had miserably failed in.

Listing out their priorities, 77% of the respondents felt whichever party comes to power in the three municipal bodies after the April 15 elections, improvement of city roads should be their first priority.

"The MCD has done nothing for our area. Even the roads that were re-constructed earlier are broken now and the situation is the same every year," said Chandar Gupta, a resident of Aya Nagar.

72% respondents have said proper collection and disposal of household waste and regular cleanliness of roads and common areas is yet another area where the corporation need to focus.

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"Garbage disposal is one of the most basic facilities that a civic body provides but in our area the MCD has failed. The councillors blame the private company which has been entrusted with the responsibility of lifting garbage and argue that weak concession agreement signed with the company prevents them from taking any action against it," said Rejimon CK, president, Dwarka Forum, an association of residents of Dwarka.

The survey also highlights the 'passing the buck' attitude of the councillors. While 64% respondents said councillors mostly remained inaccessible, 46% of them said they were irked with their "passing the buck attitude".

Residents of most upper middle-class localities felt councillors of their areas treated them as "second-class citizens" only because they don't have enough votes to turn around the fortunes of the candidates.

"The councillors focus more on unauthorised areas like Jagdamba Camp and Shahpur Jat village, which have more than 25,000 votes. We are nowhere on their priority list," said Ranju Minhas, a resident of Masjid Moth.

For the upcoming MCD polls, the political parties may have given a lot of "young" candidates — some even less than 25 years of age — a chance to contest elections but 59% respondents felt 36-50 is the best age to contest municipal elections. But 29% said councillors should be in the age group of 21-35 years.

The survey was conducted by a well-known research and analytics' company called absolutdata. The survey took online opinion of 508 Delhiites — 341 men and 167 women — mostly graduate and above but in different age groups and gauged their awareness about the MCD elections, services that MCD offer, the performance and sitting municipal councillors and their expectations from new councillors.

When it comes to the education level, 77% respondents said the councillors should at least be graduates; 33% suggested the councillors should have post-graduate qualifications. Only 8% felt education qualification should be no criteria in politics and elections.