During the 2008 assembly elections, the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor emerged as a major election issue at Greater Kailash assembly constituency. Five years later, the concerns of the voters at this tony address in the Capital have not changed much.
Local residents said the BRT corridor has become a nightmare for them. They said commuters take internal colony roads to avoid the stretch which means traffic volume has gone up on colony roads.
“BRT is still a big problem. Residents of GK-II have been locked on all sides by traffic during the peak hours. Even our footpaths have been taken over by two-wheelers, leaving no space for people to walk,” said Chetan Sharma, a resident of Greater Kailash-II.
However, even though their key concerns have remained the same, local residents are happy with the emergence of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on the electoral scene.
“Independent candidates have been contesting from here but without backing of political parties they usually fail to impress the voters. With AAP, at least we have another option,” said Anuradha Singh, a resident of Chirag Dilli.
The area is represented by leader of the opposition in Delhi assembly and senior BJP leader VK Malhotra. Sources said Malhotra may vacate the seat for his son Ajay this time. The AAP has fielded 25-year-old Saurav Bhardwaj, an engineer. But both the Congress and the BJP are yet to declare their candidates from the area.
Since the constituency has one of the highest number of urban voters, the contest has always been keen since the turnout usually remains low.
With single-storied houses giving way to multi-storied builder flats, the infrastructure in the area has not been able to keep pace with the overall growth.
“Massive commercialisation has taken place, choking the area. Despite opposition from the residents, a multiplex and a mall is coming up. All the exit points to the colony are already choked and in case of an emergency it will be difficult for ambulances or fire engines to enter the area,” said Ashok Bagga, president of Greater Kailash-II residents’ welfare association.
However, for the people living in the urban villages and illegal colonies that are part of his constituency, the basic issues of water, power and roads are a priority. “Power supply is erratic. The discoms have not upgraded their infrastructure,” said Radha Kumar, a resident of Khirki Extension.