A princely state, named after great sufi saint Baba Farid, who is believed to have visited the town in the 12th century, Faridkot is grappling with many problems as the non-existence of a proper sewerage system, broken roads and streets, unplanned growth and a few haphazardly carried-out development works, no parking space and encroachments.
The contest in the polls is between the SAD-BJP combine and the Congress as Aam Aadami party has already decided to opt out. All the parties in the fray are haunted by infighting as well.
"Party supporters are free to contest the polls, but none can use the party symbol, caps or pictures of senior leaders," said Gurdit Singh Sekhon, in-charge of the district unit of the AAP.
The ruling alliance cannot claim credit for any development in the town and may face a strong anti- incumbency wave. "The independent candidates may be a challenge to both the parties in some wards," said a BJP office-bearer.
People's Party of Punjab (PPP) has fielded two official candidates, said Bhupinder Singh Sangatpura, general secretary of the party.
Laying the sewerage system is the major demand of the people. As the sewerage system does not exist, the sewage spilling on the roads badly damages them besides polluting the environment. The system exists only in a small part of the old city and that too is about 35 years' old. Open 'nallis' (drains) in the streets take the sewage from most parts of the town to an open 'nallah', which then carries it through the town to the pakka drain in violation of the pollution board norms.
There is nothing in the name of infrastructure in the economically backward localities. Bazigar Basti, which has a population of about 10,000, has hardly any street worth its name and just ahead of the elections, work to lay bricks on its main road has started.
"The work has been started only to impress the voters. Besides it, the road and sewage 'nallis' along it are being elevated leaving the houses at a lower level. This situation can lead to the problem of floods during the rainy season. The same thing had happened about eight years ago. They would only lay bricks on the main road, then leave it without any premix and tar. Besides it, most of the streets are 'kuccha' and some have been buried under earth work due to the sewage problem," said Roshan Singh, a resident of Bazigar Basti.
Even a community centre, built by the municipal committee in 1994, was inundated with the sewage in the locality. Most of the streets are still not cemented.
So is the condition in many other localities such as Sanjay Nagar and slum areas. The locals also claim that the drinking water supply has been insufficient for over years and many have to go to take water from hand pumps and reverse osmosis (RO) planrs.
Whenever it rains, most parts of the town get flooded. There is hardly any space earmarked by the local municipal committee to park vehicles in the town despite the fact that it is the need of the hour due to a heavy increase in the number of vehicles. The vegetable and fruit carts are also parked on the roadsides which make the movement difficult.
The local municipal committee always cites the problem of funds whenever the locals approach it to solve their problems."The committee has little sources of revenue and the government should release some part of excise tax to municipalities to improve the condition of the towns. The municipal committees does not have funds even to pay the salaries of its employees. We do not get funds promised by the government," claimed a source in the MC, Faridkot.
The town does not even have a proper garbage dump site. Heaps of garbage are a common sight in the town.
Faridkot has no railway flyover on the Talwandi road and frequent closures of railway crossings in the town lead to great harassment of the people.
Number of wards=25
General 16, 6 reserved for women
Reserved for SCs 8, including 3 for women
Reserved for OBC=1
Number of voters=56,932
SAD 17, BJP 8
Expected and support some from all
Nominations filed: 127
Number of wards 21
SAD 16, BJP 4, Congress 1
Most of them were with ruling alliance
Annual budget of municipal committee's 9.67 crore
Citizen's wish list
1. There is need to lay the sewerage system first as its absence is leading to other problems like damaging roads and streets besides causing pollution of the environment," said Jaspal Singh Sandhu, a businessman from Faridkot.
2. We want work for the development the town instead of just politics from the political parties. Roads and streets should be built in all parts of the town Aman Warring, a resident of Harindra Nagar, Faridkot.
3. The municipal committee should focus on the economically backward localities as Bazigar Basti, where there are no streets, roads, water supply and sewerage, said Monu Kumar, a resident of Bazigar Basti.
4. Provision of parking spaces, removal of encroachments and earmarking of special sites for rehri markets are need of the hour, saidSurjeet Singh, a company employee Faridkot.
Laying sewerage and setting up of a sewage treatment plant.
Railway overbridge on Talwandi road.
Building roads, beautifying chowks and laying new streets.
Traffic, encroachments and parking spaces