Famously known as the educational hub of Punjab because of the sheer number of universities and colleges, Fatehgarh Sahib is ready for the council elections set to take place on February 25. The parties in fray are Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). SAD-BJP have announced that they will be contesting the elections together.
The sharing of wards between BJP and SAD has been completed and the rivals have declared their candidates. However, BJP is still not content with the number of seats that were given to them. Out of the 21 wards in Sirhind-Fatehgarh, BJP has been handed only 8, while SAD will field their candidates on the remaining 13.
The town got politically charged up when SAD observer Santa Singh Umaidpuri appointed ex-MLA Didar Singh Bhatti as the halqa in-charge, a move that was vocally opposed by senior leaders Prem Singh Chandumajra and Randhir Singh Cheema. All three tried to push their representatives forward for the upcoming municipal council (MC) polls, and after numerous meetings, candidates were finalized for the 13 wards.
Earlier, when SAD wasn't ready to give BJP more than 7 seats, reports had arisen that BJP would break the alliance and contest the elections on their own. Consensus was reached upon by SAD offering one more seat to BJP.
This political active city has hosted various state level functions and religious annual functions. Shiromani Gurudwara Parbanadhak Committee (SGPC) has taken big decisions in meetings here and CM Parkash Singh Badal has also visited the city various times. However, the problems in the city are growing with every passing day.
CONSTRUCTION OF A BUS STAND
Despite being a historical town, there is no bus stand in Fatehgarh Sahib and people have to wait for buses on the roadside. Bassi, a small town in the neighbourhood has a bus stand equipped with all amenities. The issue has been raised several times with the administration and authorities had been dodging the issue stating that they need land. Despite Fatehgarh Sahib municipal council providing 4 acres for a bus stand, but no bus stand has been constructed yet.
CONSTRUCTIONS OF ROADS AND SEWAGE
People also complained about bad roads and streets and said, bad roads are small problem, but the problem of sewage works as topping. During congress rule at centre, a grant of `54 crore was passed, which got lapsed and the reason being unknown. Only 60% of the city has privilege of proper sewage system and others are still waiting. Few people have made their own temporary sewage and due to bad conditions of roads sometimes, the drainage system gets chocked or get overflow on roads, which disturb the whole locality.
The heap of garbage welcomes the commuter at bus stop of Sirhind as the City does not have a proper system to dump the garbage. People throw their garbage at streets corner which later becomes the home to flies and mosquitoes. On the Sirhind bus stop, people throw and make a leap of garbage and it takes days to municipal council employees to collect the garbage from there.
UNAVIALBILITY OF PARKING LOTS
The city lack in basic infrastructure like parking lots at Public places, due to which people park their car in market which hampers the whole traffic. Moreover, there is no proper traffic management as the Jyoti Sarup Chowk is the busiest stop in the city and in the centre of roads that leads to Nangal, Patiala and Chandigarh, do not have working traffic lights. Sometimes, a traffic inspector controls the traffic and sometimes no one is there to control. Similarly, at the octroi number 4, the traffic lights are not working since past long time.
NUMBER OF SEATS: 21
Total number of registered voters: 38796
Male voters: 20224
Female Voters: 18572
Wards reserved for SC candidates: 6
Wards reserved for women: 7 including 2 for SC women
ANTICIPATED SEAT SHARING
SAD-BJP to contest on all 21 seats
BJP has given 8 seats and SAD is contesting from left 13 seats
Congress to contest of all 21 seats
PPP to contest polls from 8 seats
SAD (A) contesting from all 21 seats
LAST YEAR'S RESULTS
Total seats: 17
8.40 Crore for development works
Spent: 4.40 Crore
Construction of bus stand
Parking and Street lights
Yashwinder Singh, retd. Professor
The council member cannot help much in developing any part of the area because there powers are getting reduced. And to get grants release they have to look to higher authorities. However, we demand the basic public structures in city such as dedicated bus stand, public parking area and a dustbin in every street. These things can help to maintain the city very well.
Manjot Singh, first time voter
I am first time voter, so I do not know much about city's politics. However, from the teenager's point of view I can say, our city lags behind in the entertainment purpose. So, any council who will get elect to rule should think about to call companies to open an multiplex or some other entertainment source, as being educational town number of outsider students are residing over here.
Gurinder Puri, businessman
The biggest problem that occurs in city is of waste management uninterrupted power and water supply. There is not even a single ward which has proper cleanliness. I wish who so ever the next MC get elected, he should promise himself to provide basic amenities to the residents of his concerned ward. And moreover they have to work hard for the sake of their party, as their performance will set the tone for 2017 assembly elections.
Santosh Verma, writer
We demand the basic amenities such as uninterrupted power supply, water supply and proper sewerage system to keep the city clean. And instead of filling their own pockets, council member should spend the money if they get. And the traffic system need to get improved as this city is on bank of highway and fatal accidents are a daily routine here.