Despite four party rebels in the fray in the Fazilka municipal council polls, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance stands united and appeared to be at an edge over a divided Congress, but 20 nominees of gangster-turned-politician Jaswinder Singh Rocky contesting polls as independents might upset the outcome of the polls and harm the prospects of the SAD. Rocky had supported the SAD-BJP nominee during the last Lok Sabha election at Fazilka.
During the last municipal council polls, the SAD-BJP combine had bagged 15 out of the 21 wards, while the Congress had won six seats.
The town known for great social bonding has many things to cheer about as better civic amenities as compared to its neighbouring municipal committee areas but traffic nuisance, choked drains and stray animals, including donkeys, have been a source of great harassment to the local inhabitants.
The agitation organised by the local residents, a few years ago, compelled the state government to declare it as a district which further helped it to grow in many ways.
The better condition of the roads, streetlights, the somewhat better of supply of potable water are the reasons for a sigh of relief for the inhabitants of the area but they have many other things on their wish list.
The poor green cover and apathetic attitude on the part of the authorities concerned are leading to the problem of pollution. The sale of the Badha Lake area by the state government through the PUDA spoke itself about the future plans to deal with the issue of green cover.
"Several crores of rupees were spent to carve out impressive 4-lane roads to private colonies, but none bothered to carpet the dilapidated MR College road, where every day more than 5,000 students have to suffer. There should be a high-level probe into all the funds spent on the various development works of the MC during the last five years," said Jaswinder Singh Rocky, who fought as independent in the last assembly polls from Fazilka and secured 39,209 votes.
"To tackle the menace of stray cattle, a MC-owned cattle pond over 25 acres besides a private one (Nandi Shala to keep only bulls) is under construction. Their party has even prepared a master plan for the coming fifty years for Fazilka," said Manoj Tripathi, a BJP leader.
"To decongest the town, we are shifting the existing bus stand to a new complex built at a cost of `5.6 crore spread over five acres on the main highway while under the special anti-encroachment drive, a large part of the city has already been cleaned," said Manjit Singh Brar, Fazilka deputy commissioner.
Residents of the city are meanwhile struggling with below-par living conditions.
POOR SANITATION IN SLUM AREAS
Even though a large number of Fazilka residents enjoy better civic life but for the residents of slum areas like Basti Hajoor Singh, Kabbari Mohalla or Zora Singh Mann Nagar, even basic amenities of life are still luxuries.
Free roaming of stray cattle including donkeys has become a great cause of worry for the local inhabitants, especially kids and the elderly who are ever more vulnerable.
Even though the authorities tried to tackle the problem of traffic chaos in the town by raising dividers on the roads but, as roads are too narrow for dividers. So, instead of proving useful for commuters, there dividers are problem in the smooth flow of traffic an often lead to traffis jams.
The MC had covered all the drains in the streets of the town to give a hygienic look to the town but, during the rains, but most of them are choked and need to be cleaned.
There is an urgent need for a road leading to the Government College. A number of daily commuters, especially youth, have to go to the college but due to lack of a proper road, the commuters face a lot of problems.
Navdeep Asija, an IITian and general secretary of Graduate Welfare Association
The hitherto neglected slum areas in the town should be given top priority as, at present, local inhabitants are compelled to live in a hell-like situation due to lack of basic amenities.
Captain (Rtd) MS Bedi, a resident
MC authorities should concentrate to resolve the problem of choking of drains, especially during the rainy season, when the water overflows and low-lying areas get waterlogged.
Raman Jhamb, a resident
There is urgent need to enhance green cover in the town. Parks should be developed where the local residents can relax and have a walk in the morning and evening hours.
Aarish Gujjar, a medical practitioner
Number of Seats
Total Number of Registered Voters : 49,092
Male Voters : 25,773
Female Voters : 23,319
Wards reserved for SC candidates : Seven including Three for women
One ward is reserved for BC candidate
Ward reserved for Women: 7
ANTICIPATED SEAT SHARING
BJP to contest 24 wards and SAD on 1 while Congress on all 25 besides 22 independents backed by Jaswinder Singh Rocky, a gangster turned politician who secured second place in 2012 polls from Fazilka by grabbing votes besides four rebels of BJP.
LAST YEAR'S RESULTS
Total Wards: 21
SAD-BJP alliance had 15 while Congress had six.
Rs.18.60 Crore: Projected estimate for the upcoming fiscal
. Stray Animals
. Lack of Facilities in Slum Areas
. Choked Drains
.Stray animals are a great threat to common man in Fazilka.