Left stranded and without an authority they could address their grievances to, residents in Muktsar localities like Chack Bir Sarkar village, some part of Udaikaran village and Muktsar dehati (rural) area are a disillusioned lot.
These areas have allegedly not been governed by the municipal council, five years after a government notification merging them into the city was issued. The December 2008 notification had also extended the municipal limits.
Since then, they have not been given any facilities under the panchayat department and the MC ignored theses areas as by then the elections to the MC house had been held and the areas have thus lacked a say in the civic body.
"In September 2008, election for the MC was held in only 23 wards. The newly-notified areas did not come under the jurisdiction of the civic body, while their panchayats ceased to exist," said Sudarshan Kumar Sidana, secretary of National Consumer Awareness Group, Muktsar, an NGO.
"The areas has been neglected. They have not got any grant as a village nor could they be covered by the municipal committee. They have also lost the right to utilise the MGNREGA scheme, as officially they have been part of an urban area since 2008. However, they could not get any basic amenities such as sewerage system, provision of sweepers and garbage collection, street lights and drinking water facility," claimed Sham Lal Goyal, president of the NGO.
He also claimed that population of the town was about Rs 1.25 lakh and under the Municipality Rules 1974, the number of wards should be increased to 31 now.
Sidana claimed that the people of the areas had to approach the Sadar police station for their complaints, instead of the city, even as residents were part of the municipal limits.
"More than 1,000 voters from Udaikaran village have shifted to urban areas since 2008. We are now not under the panchayat and are also not covered by the MC," said a source from the village panchayat.
"There areas are part of the city. We did do some sewerage work in Chack Bir Sarkar village," said Mitt Singh Brar, former president of Muktsar MC.
"Now, as the MC house has completed its term last year. We want all paperwork to be done now so that elections could be held in all 31 wards that are formed after the inclusion of these areas," Goyal demanded.
"These localities have been suffering a lot for five years," said Jaspreet Singh Chabbra, a Muktsar resident.
Deputy commissioner Paramjit Singh did not respond to repeated calls on his mobile.