Administration’s apathy upsets Pune’s flash flood victims to boycott polls
Many residents of Sahakarnagar’s Tangewala colony, one of the worst affected areas due to flash floods, boycotted voting following administration’s apathy while carrying out rehabilitation workUpdated: Oct 22, 2019 16:34 IST
While it was polling day for many Punekars on Monday, some victims of recent flash floods decided to not cast vote as a mark of protest.
Many residents of Sahakarnagar’s Tangewala colony, one of the worst affected areas due to flash floods, boycotted voting following administration’s apathy while carrying out rehabilitation work.
Flash floods triggered by heavy rains claimed 26 lives from southern parts of Pune on September 25. Besides Sahakarnagar, Padmawati, Katraj and Bibvewadi areas were also affected by floods.
Babanrao Adsul, a resident of Annabhau Sathe nagar that comprises more than 500 houses and 2,300 registered voters, said, “Since the elections have been announced, hardly any political leader visited our area for campaigning. Annabhau Sathe nagar was in six-foot-deep water following flash floods and every house was destroyed. Only when we staged protest on the road did the Pune Municipal Corporation and district administration started cleanliness work in our area. Yet, no political party extended a helping hand. Many residents are still cleaning their houses. Hardly 20% of people from our area have voted today.”
The nearby polling booths of Sahakarnagar and Padmavati remained empty in the morning, but witnessed voter turnout by afternoon when residents from housing societies stepped out to vote. However, from Tangewala colony, which houses at least 200 voters, not many came out to vote.
Sanjay Shinde from Tangewala colony in Sahakarnagar area where seven people died during the flash floods said, “All of us took the decision to boycott the election. Each one of us has suffered losses and our houses need immediate repairs. Our only demand from the government is to help us build new houses. For the first two days after the flash floods, political leaders visited us but started avoiding us when we demanded assistance. Hence, we decided not to vote and fight till we get justice. Many residents are still forced to stay with their relatives and friends as their houses are destroyed by the flash floods. For how many days will they stay like this? We need permanent houses from the government.”