With the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) boycotting the civic polls, Dera Baba Nanak after almost 17 years is set to witness a direct contest between the candidates of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Congress, who will be accountable for the development of this historic town for the next five years.
In 1998, during the rule of SAD-BJP combine, the Congress had boycotted the civic elections after nomination papers of most of its candidates were rejected by the returning officer owing to some errors; while in 2003, the Congress forced the SAD to boycott the civic polls, as nomination papers of all their candidates were rejected on the same ground. In 2008, during the SAD rule in Punjab, the story was repeated, the Congress again boycotted the civic polls, blaming the returning officer of biased in rejecting nomination papers of Congress candidates. However, this year, people got a chance to see a direct contest between the SAD and the Congress.
Interestingly, SAD’s alliance partner the BJP, which was given four seats during the seat-sharing agreement, boycotted the polls, blaming SAD leadership of breaking the alliance.
BJP’s Dera Baba Nanak mandal president Rakesh Kumar said three BJP candidates, who would be contesting the polls, shifted their loyalty and filed papers under the SAD symbol under pressure of local SAD leadership.
Streetlights and Potable water
As the council failed to pay power bills of the past two years, the powercom has snapped supply and the town plunges into darkness after sunset. The non-functional streetlights are not only resulting in road accidents, but also resulting in increased incidents of snatching and robbery.
The drinking water channels were laid in the town over 35 years back. Now, most of these pipes are leaking, affecting the quality of water supplied. Illegal water and sewerage connections are also resulting in contamination of drinking water. Moreover, peripheral areas that have become a part of the Dera Baba Nanak constituency during the last two decades don’t have water supply pipelines, forcing people to depend on motor and submersible pumps.
Dumping of garbage is a big problem being faced by the residents. As the municipal council does not have a landfill site, heaps of garbage lying scattered at every nook and corner, forcing people to live with unbearable stench. These heaps of garbage not only emit foul smell, but also give a dirty look to the town.
Though the local administration claimed to have spent crores of rupees on the restoration of various roads, the condition of Circular Road from old Octroi Post to Kartarpur Sahib Darshani Sthal is pitiable for the past three years. Not only Circular Road, but many roads in various localities, which were dug up by private contractors for lying sewerage pipes, have not been repaired by the administration.
The incident of stray dogs attacking residents is increasing day by day. Many localities are badly affected, where herds of stray dogs can be seen roaming freely 24 hours. Akash Nayyar, a resident, told Hindustan Times that with the administration turning a blind eye to the problem, the number of victims was increasing. Demanding sterilisation of stray dogs, he said the administration should take appropriate steps to deal with the problem.