As Uttar Pradesh goes to polls next month, residents of Shalimar Garden extension in Ghaziabad, bordering the national capital, have resolved not to vote. Banners with the slogan "Road nehi to vote nehi (no road no vote)" sums up their grouse.
The arterial road in the colony resembles a cross-country racetrack. The road has not been repaired nor developed for the past five years. Vehicles get damaged and the elderly and kids trip on the uneven road full of potholes.
Tejinder Singh, a retired senior official of the Airports Authority of India, regrets his decision to shift to the locality.
In the last 11 years of stay at C-block, he hardly finds any infrastructure development. He has also put a "no road, no vote" banner in front of his flat.
"There has been no repairing, no development of the road for the past five years. Accidents and senior citizens falling down are a common feature. We pay taxes but have got nothing. We will abstain from voting," Singh said.
The area saw rapid development in the late 1990s with affordable flats coming up everywhere. But the private builders who developed the colony are nowhere to be seen, neither are the authorities. C-block alone consists of 260 apartments.
"Private builders moved on to other projects. We are waiting for the civic agencies to help us. Everything is in a shambles," said Jugal Kishore, a resident who wrote dozens of letters to the authorities on the issue.
Poonam Bansal, another resident, said it becomes horrible during the rains. "My family suffers when water enters our houses. There is no point in voting for people who have not looked up for our cause," she said.
The authorities, as usual, passed the buck.
Municipal Commissioner Basant Lal said the area has not yet been yet handed over to the corporation and is with the Ghaziabad Development Authority. "The GDA collects development charges and is responsible for development. The responsibility falls on the GDA which allowed builders to develop these areas," Lal said.
GDA vice-chairman Narendra Kumar Chaudhary said only four colonies were yet to be handed over to the municipal corporation -- Indirapuram, Swarn Jayanti Puram, Tulsi Niketan and Indira Kunj. "Rest colonies have been handed over,” he said.