In a complete paradox to the slogan of "raaj nahi sewa" given by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in the last elections, deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal's visit to Ludhiana brought the city to a standstill. Going by his visits scheduled for various city areas, the cops had restricted public movement irrespective of the urgency of the work or personal affair. So much so that people were not even allowed to go to their workplace, hospitals and to attend to their other important chores.
Badal was in Ludhiana to lay the foundation stones of roads, multi skill development centre and community health centre in addition to an address at a public rally and inauguration of a community health centre in Sector 32 on the Chandigarh road.
Queues of vehicles could be seen on the Ferozepur road, Dugri-Dhandra road and the Gill road as the traffic was diverted for hours to accommodate a large cavalcade of vehicles accompanying the deputy CM.
A reputed city doctor Dr Navdeep Khaira, who lives near Aarti Chowk, was stopped from stepping out to which he objected and asked the cop concerned to give it in written that he would be responsible if anything happens to the patient he had to attend immediately. "Such practices are a slap on the face of democracy wherein a VIP visit breaches upon the rights of the people. It's high time that our politicians realise the futility of such exercises and volunteer to put an end to them," added Dr Khaira.
Road repair, a mockery
Where on one side hundreds of residents in Dugri have repeatedly called upon the MC authorities to repair the roads in the area which have ceased to exist for more than three years but went unheard. A sudden patchwork and carpeting of the roads on Monday evening, which were a part of the route to be taken by the deputy CM to attend a rally of the Student Organisation of India (SOI) on Tuesday came as a shock to residents of Dugri. A resident virtually called up an official to enquire about the carpeting of roads and after getting to know could not help taking a jibe stating,"Je Sukhbir Badal de aan te saade area diyan sarka bann jangiya phir assi saare ladiwaar programme rakh ke uss nu bula liya karenge...." (if deputy CM's visit can give us good roads we will invite him on series of programmes so that the whole area gets good roads).
It took Sukhbir Singh Badal's visit to the city to get the manholes fixed on the Pakhowal road. The municipal corporation (MC) took almost one year to set right two manholes, which were below the road's surface on the Pakhowal road. These manholes were set right before Sukhbir's visit i.e. on Monday. It is worth mentioning that HT through its reports had highlighted that these manholes are inviting mishaps.
Irony of the situation being the area where Sukhbir addressed the SOI rally has not even a single road minus potholes. And deputy CM categorically mentioned the government will spend Rs 1.2 crore upon road infrastructure development.
A large number of members of the Student Organisation of India (SOI) organised a rally outside Bal Bharti School in Urban Estate, Dugri, and having waited for more than two hours the youth got to hear the deputy CM for less than 10 minutes.
Sukhbir Singh Badal congratulated SOI president Banti Ramana, Malwa in charge Meetpal Singh Dugri and Youth Akali Dal's leader in Malwa Tarsem Singh Bhinder for the recent win in Panjab University student council elections.
"Youth happens to be the backbone of the society and a major part of progress of every state depends upon its youth which is the reason for me to have promoted sports in the state. We will soon recruit one lakh individuals in government jobs on various posts including clerks, inspectors in excise- taxation and other department, tehsildars," stated Sukhbir Singh Badal.
He also called upon the SOI presidents to get in touch with him as and when required adding that each one of the members will be issued I-cards at the earliest.