Electricity for just an hour in the afternoon, water every third day, and lanes always dirty and potholed: are the current facilities where Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday is to lay the foundation stone of projects worth Rs 3,000 crore.
Jasaur Kheri, 20 kilometres from the Delhi border of Jhajjar village, now the site for National Cancer Institute, Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership, a government college, and upgrading of the highway connecting Bahadurgarh, Badli, Chandu, and Gurgaon, has for long been neglected.
“We require regular electricity to complete fodder churning, wheat crushing and other basic chores by machine. We need daily water but don’t get it even on alternate days,” said village elder Hawa Singh.
The village of more than 10,000 people is into farming basically.
“In the rains, the water has no exit, so it logs outside houses and sometimes enters the homes,” said villager Mahabir Singh Deswal.
INLD’s rural housing project abandoned
The previous regime of the Indian National Lok Dal led by Om Prakash Chautala as chief minister had spent crores or rupees in the village to develop the first rural residential sector, said block samiti member Sant Kumar Deswal. Haryana Urban Development Authority was assigned to give villagers housing facilities on a par with urban counterparts.
The facilities—roads, parks and electricity infrastructure—were developed in 2004 on more than 12 acres outside the village on the Kharkhoda-Bahadurgarh road. Of the villagers, 84 showed interest in the housing project with 100 plots, and deposited the earnest money in 2004. “After the change of government, the Congress regime that took over abandoned the project,” said Deswal.
On the space marked for parks and plots, villagers now prepare dung cakes. Anil Kumar Deswal, one of the applicants, said the government had returned the earnest money but people had moved court to get the promised houses.
Villager Karmabir Master, who also desired a house in the rural residential sector, said if the government had taken the matter seriously, the project could have been boon for the peasant class. A young man sitting with him didn’t think it was good idea, and said residential colonies were for white-collared people, not for farmers.
“The INLD project was impractical for villages,” said Congress legislator Rajinder Joon, whose constituency, Bahadurgarh, includes Jasaur Kheri. “The land belonged to a few Congress supporters, and the Chautala government acquired it to harass them,” he added.