Nangal, which is surrounded by picturesque hills, river and canals, is an important town of Rupnagar district. But issues like traffic jams, sanitation and water management still haunt its residents.
It is divided into two parts, Nangal Township and Naya Nangal. The town was named Nangal by acquiring land of three villages Nangal Nikku, Hambewal and Dubheta. It gained importance with the construction of Bhakra Dam on the Sutlej in November 1955 and setting up of the National Fertilisers Limited (NFL) plant.
Nangal is considered to be a town of employees as most of the residents work in the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB), NFL and Punjab Alkalis Chemicals Limited (PACL). The Nangal municipal council is one of the richest municipal councils of the state with annual budget of `80 crore. It also runs a pharmacy college, a senior secondary school, a high school and four elementary schools. The prestige of BJP leader Madan Mohan Mittal, who represents the town as the member of legislative assembly (MLA) and former Congress MLA, Rana KP Singh, is at stake in the elections this time round.
The Congress is contesting in all the 19 wards of the town. The tussle over ticket allotment between Rana KP Singh and block Congress committee president Paramjit Singh Pamma, who was earlier a loyalist of Rana and now owes allegiance to PPCC president Partap Singh Bajwa, was amicably resolved and Rana managed to ensure majority of tickets to his supporters. Pamma, a former municipal councillor, is contesting the elections from ward 17.
The united face put up by the Congress for the MC elections may give a formidable challenge to BJP-SAD alliance.
Meanwhile, tickets distribution in the BJP, which is contesting on 16 out of 19 wards, was completed smoothly. Shiromani Akali Dal is contesting on three wards.
Former municipal council president Rajesh Chaudhary is again contesting the elections as BJP candidate from ward No. 7 while BJP rebel and another former municipal council president Rakesh Sharma ‘Pinki’ is contesting as independent candidate from ward No. 9.
Nangal Sudhar Sabha also has some candidates in the elections. Few independent candidates may also give tough fight to the candidates of major political parties.
The alleged corruption in the municipal council is a major issue in these elections.
The opposition is alleging that crores of rupees were spent on the works, unnecessarily and the quality of work was also substandard.
The Congress had even sought an inquiry by CBI and Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) into the alleged bungling in the municipal council. The party is set to exploit the issue in the election.
NOC hurdle in development works
Since major part of the land of Nangal belongs to Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB), the municipal council faces a lot of difficulties in getting no objection certificate from them for undertaking development works.
As a result of which, municipal council is unable to undertake the task in time and projects get delayed for years.
The closure of the railway crossings at Nangal Dam and Rajiv Gandhi Chowk for several times in the day due to movement of trains leads to traffic jams in these areas and residents have to face great inconvenience.
There is a long standing demand of the construction of an over bridge at these railway crossings.
However, no concrete decision has been taken in this direction.
Stray cattle menace
Stray cattle roaming in areas like Railway Road and main market area have also become a cause of nuisance and lead to many accidents. Municipal council is providing financial assistance to ‘gaushalas’ to keep stray cattle there. Despite this, the stray cattle menace is still rampant.
Water supply and sanitation
The residents of private localities like Ram Nagar, Old Gurdwara Area, Indira Nagar, Madhav Nagar, Kiln Area and Raj Nagar have to face water scarcity problems particularly in the summers despite that fact that the town is surrounded by the river and canals. Sanitary conditions are also far from satisfactory as garbage is kept lying at various places for days, leading to foul smell.
Engg college and fire brigade
Resolutions were passed to set up an engineering college and a fire brigade in the town, but no action were taken in this regard.