What happens when citizens get fed up of asking authorities for badly needed infrastucture? In case of a group of Gurgaon villagers, they build their own.
Residents of Tajpur — a village 22 kms from Gurgaon — have built themselves a railway station, after pleas to authorities fell on deaf ears.
Tajpur is not linked to nearby towns with organised transport and villagers have to travel up to 6 kms in three-wheelers to reach Farruknagar or Pataudi, the nearest railway stations, to catch a train.
“We approached railway authorities in Delhi several times when Lalu Prasad was the railway minister but nothing really happened. So, we decided to build the station on our own,” said Ranjit Singh, a resident of the village.
The 700 households in the village whose main occupation is farming, collected a sum of Rs 3,000 each. Some who are better off, contributed amounts ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 60,000.
Villagers also constituted a society called Gram Seva Samiti where they would discuss how to execute their plans.
The sum they managed was Rs 25 lakh, enough to put together a station with running water and a single ticket counter. But the makeshift railway station, which will be inaugurated on January 5, still needs to be made pucca (concrete) and requires a shed, a boundary wall and toilets.
Out of the collected sum, villagers have deposited Rs 5 lakh with railway authorities to help them expand the station.
“Hopefully Mamta Banerjee will take notice of our efforts and help us,” said Singh.
The first train will stop here at 6.56 am and 13 trains — mostly locals — will follow. This will benefit residents of a dozen nearby villages.