Well-maintained parks, extravagant bungalows and clean roads welcome you to the quiet neighbourhood of Model Town in north Delhi. The only noise is that of the chatter of residents who gather around the huge Naini Lake bang in the middle of the residential area.
Areas such Model Town, Gujranwala Town or Bank Colony, located in the northern part of the Model Town constituency, are home to the affluent who live in impressive kothis in gated and guarded colonies cut off from the din of GT Road or Ring Road, next to which these colonies are situated.
Most of these areas, including Derawal Nagar, came up in the late 1940s or early 1950s to accommodate refugees who came to Delhi after Partition.As one moves south on GT Road towards the other end of the constituency, the houses get crammed, the roads start getting narrower and the traffic snarls thicker. Almost like a funnel, the Model Town constituency tapers off at this end at Malkaganj, ending, literally, in a bottleneck. The wide and multi-lane GT Road becomes a narrow street here. Encroachments, vendors and parked cars leave just two lanes open to the crawling traffic.
The areas in this part — Roop Nagar, Kamla Nagar and Shakti Nagar etc — are much older than their northern counterparts and are more congested and overpopulated. The residents, however, don’t seem to mind it even a bit.
“These areas are very old and the congestion is a result of that. We have got used to it now,” said Pawan Gupta, a Kamla Nagar resident. “There are plans to build a new Metro line nearby and a Monorail too. Things will definitely improve then,” he said.
Be it the well spread out Model Town or the congested Malkaganj, voters of this constituency say there is no water or power shortage in their area neither does it lack any civic amenities. Everyone seems satisfied with the work done here by area MLA Kanwar Karan Singh of the Congress.
It is inflation, however, which is turning out to be the common villain cutting across colonies. Singh, who has won three consecutive elections from the area, may face the brunt of price rise. Though they have nothing to complain against their MLA, many residents say that perhaps it is time for a change.
“Inflation is a big worry and I don’t think the governments, both the state and the Centre, have done enough to control price rise. Though our MLA has done work for the area, we should give another party a chance to try and solve problems such as inflation and inflated power bills that is bothering not only us but every Delhi resident,” said Rajni Baluja, a housewife and Gujranwala Town resident.