Samana Municipal Committee: Rakhra trying hard for a clean sweep in Samana

  • Vishal Rambani, Hindustan Times, Samana
  • Updated: Feb 15, 2015 22:24 IST

During the 2012 assembly elections, voters of this municipal committee had sprung a surprise when, instead of voting for Congress' chief ministerial candidate Captain Amarinder Singh's son Raninder Singh, they voted for Shiromani Akali Dal candidate and now cabinet minister Surjit Singh Rakhra.

The result of that election left everyone in the state Congress in a state of shock. But, no one bothered to ascertain the reason behind the defeat.

In fact, the people voted for development, which Rakhra had carried out in his municipal committee. Nothing is wrong to say if Samana is termed one of the best municipal committees of Punjab. Rakhra has spent nearly `50 crore in this MC during the last seven years, and thus reaped a rich harvest of votes.

From the long-pending demand of a fire station, this MC has the only working sewage treatment plant, cemented lanes, best parks, good roads and that too free from stray cattle and regular water supply even in remote areas and slums.
Though the city has seen massive development during the last seven years, yet it lacks two basic facilities, a solid waste management plant and a parking space. Encroachments are the other major problem of the city, that lead to tariff chaos in the interior parts of the city.

The SAD-BJP alliance is mainly pitted against the Congress. Due to the absence of Congress leader Raninder Singh, the morale of Congress workers is low, thus many main contestants have decided not to go in for polls, whereas Rakhra is working overtime to make a clean sweep. Instead of rallies, Rakhra, along with candidates, is conducting door-to-door campaigning to have a direct connect with voters. The Congress campaign is based on the personal clout of the contestants.

Encroachments and traffic congestion

Traffic congestion and encroachments are now two interlinked problems of the city. Because of massive encroachments by shopkeepers, the main road has shrunk causing problems in the smooth movement of traffic. The markets in the town have become very congested with several encroachments having come up in all markets. If the MC cracks a whip on encroachments, then the problem of traffic congestion will automatically resolve.

Poor garbage disposal

Poor garbage disposal is another major problem in this MC. Though the MC lifts the garbage, but it has no any solid waste handling project. One can often see garbage dumps in different parts of the city as the MC employees are dumping garbage here and there. The SAD is promising a treatment plant to end this problem.

Parking and streetlights

Residents face a tough time while parking their vehicles due to space constraint in the town. There is need for a multi-storey parking in town. This will also further decongest the city roads. The city residents are also demanding streetlights in the city.

Annual budget
The municipal council has an annual budget of Rs 11.25 crore,
For Development Rs. 6.15 crore

In 2008, the SAD-BJP alliance won the council poll when MC has 17 wards
Present: SAD-BJP alliance: 15

Number of wards: 21 (earlier 17)
SAD: 15
BJP: 6
Congress: 20 (One Congress candidate has withdrawn papers)
Total: 88 candidates have filed papers

Total population: 56,000
Number of voters: 39,108
Male voters: 20,577
Female voters: 18,531
Polling Booth : 43

Major issue: Solid waste management, encroachments, parking woes and street light

Wish List:

The city has seen a lot of development, but still parking problem remains. There is need to develop a multistory parking and the MC should also work for removing encroachments
Amit Singla, chartered account

People have to meet councillors often for their signatures on various documents, therefore we want to have councillors who are easily accessible.
Pawan Kumar, a resident

There is need to repair the old cemented roads inside the city. Hope the new leaders will carry forward the development process. There is also need to develop green area in the city.
Nitin Jain, a resident

During the rains, sometimes the sewerage gets chocked, otherwise everything is OK. The MC needs to spend more time and money on garbage collection system and to maintain roads and pucca streets.
Jantesh Kumar, a resident

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