Though the historical town of Muktsar is the home district of chief minister Parkash Singh Badal it seems to be mostly ignored as far as provision of basic amenities is concerned.
The town is replete with bad roads, encroachments along the roadsides, stray animals and garbage dumps at random places.
To compound the woes there is insufficient quantity of drinking water and parking space is meagre.
The ruling SAD-BJP alliance had swept all the 23 wards in the last municipal council polls, but this time it may face strong wave of anti-incumbency on local issues. Also, allegations of rigging are ripe.
"During last elections, the ruling alliance had rigged the elections as most of the candidates from other parties could not file their nominations due to hurdles put up by the government. Therefore the SAD-BJP alliance won many seats unopposed. We want not fair elections this time," said Jimmy Brar, who is also contesting as independent candidate.
"As the former municipality was formed by rigging the polls, it has been a non-performer. Apart from being a historical important city, Muktsar is the district headquarter and chief minister also belongs from here. But there is hardly any development here. Lack of which will be our main issue in these elections," said Karan Kaur Brar, Congress MLA from Muktsar, which is otherwise considered a SAD stronghold. He informed that Congress would contest from all the wards.
Residents of the city are meanwhile struggling with below par living conditions.
"Sanitation is a big problem in Muktsar. There are dumps of garbage at many places which have not been removed for days and even after removal they appear again. Due to the garbage dumps, stray animals are feeding on them, but the local councillor has failed to tackle this problem. There is no proper site for dumping this garbage and it is now being dumped in the nearby village of Kabbarwala," said Narinder Singh, a local.
The dividing track
The city is divided into two parts by Muktsar-Fazilka railway line. This is one of the biggest problems of the locals because when the railway crossing gets closed hundreds of people get stranded in traffic jams.
A flyover was promised seven years ago whose foundation stone was laid by the deputy chief minister, Sukhbir Singh Badal about a year ago, but till now no work has been started.
No parking space
The municipal committee has failed to provide parking space to the residents. Now there is only one parking provided by Red Cross and at most of the places, the vehicles have to be parked in the streets causing of lot of traffic problems. The number of the vehicles has grown many folds and the lack of parking space is exacerbating the woes of the citizens.
Many of these streets, particularly in the underdeveloped areas are also badly broken.
Not a drop to drink
The locals said that the MC has failed to cater to the drinking water needs of the town, which has a population of about 125,000. Moreover, there is an alleged shortage of supply during summer season and whatever is supplied contaminated with impurities.
Stray animals are also a big problem. The police had last year suspended the town's SHO when a stray animal came in the cavalcade of the CM in March last year.
Citizens wish list
I want the future MC to remove all encroachments from the roads sides and streamline traffic by providing parking spaces. Encroachments have badly narrowed down the roads. Sham Lal Goyal, president of national consumer awareness group
The work on railway over bridge on Muktsar-Jalalabad road should be the top priority of the next MC. It should also rebuild all the roads and streets. Sudarshan Kumar Sidana, retired assistant registrar.
The municipal committee should find out some solution to remove all the garbage dumps from the city and the problem of stray animals should be solved immediately. Gobind Singh Dabra, Congress committee urban vice-president.
Pure drinking water for all, street lights, beautification of all localities should be made the priority by the municipal committee. There should be proper parking spaces, vending markets and plantation of trees at all possible places. Gurinderjeet Singh Brar, a social worker.
Total number of wards=31
Reserved for SC=10 including 4 women
Reserved for BC=1
General=21 including 8 for women
Number of male voters: 39,632
Number of female voters: 35,751
Annual budget: rs 13.20 crore 2013-14
Rs 14 crore: Projected budget for 2015-16
Anticipated seat sharing
SAD on 19 and BJP on 12
Congress expected to contest on all
AAP may support independents on some wards
Last elections: SAD-BJP won 20 wards unopposed
Elections were held on 3 wards out which BJP won 2 and SAD won 1.
Building of railway over bridge
Removing garbage and encroachments
Supply more drinking water, good roads and streets
Solving traffic problem by providing parking places