YourSpace: Punekars say no cleanliness, no electricity, no water, no vote
With campaigning for the Maharashtra Assembly elections underway, readers tell us about the issues affecting Pune and what issues should be dealt with, on priority basis, in their constituencies. Here is what they say…Updated: Oct 13, 2019 16:14 IST
Residents of Kothrud lack basic facilities. The constituency is facing issues like poor water supply, garbage, traffic and crime. The crime rate in the constituency has increased, and senior citizens are the most affected. However, the police have done little. Sitting BJP MLA Medha Kulkarni is aware of these problems and has been trying to resolve it. The residents of Kothrud have been supporting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the constituency is dominated by Brahmin voters. However, this time, the BJP has fielded its state unit chief Chandrakant Patil. The residents are unhappy with the decision. When Pune was in a pool of flood, Patil was busy conducting seat-sharing talks in Delhi. How can we trust a leader who does not give priorities to civic issues? Though BJP has invested a lot of money for construction of roads in Kothrud, Patil’s candidature has overruled local issues in this election.
No wide roads here
The issues of Kasba peth are different than other constituencies. The constituency comprises various peth areas. For 25 years, Kasba has been a stable seat for BJP in the city. Unfortunately, the constituency’s politically stable profile has not resulted in any positive change on the ground. Kasba peth represents the very heart of the city and if roads were arteries, many here are clogged. The two most important issues in the constituency are garbage and narrow roads. Old crumbling wadas and irregular electricity supply have to be dealt with. The BJP candidate here tried to change things, but in my opinion, the issues still remain. There is no adequate water supply and getting stuck in a traffic jam has now become an everyday experience. We need an MLA who can get to the root cause of these issues and solve it by initiating public participation.
Poor infra, water supply major poll issues
The rains on September 25 wreaked havoc in Pune city. The storm water drainage system has been in the city for the past 30 years, but encroachments along canals and riverbeds block the water flow and worsen the situation. However, in such a situation, there has been a total disregard from local politicians who have been giving permissions in favour of builders. The city lacks infrastructure. Also, the residents cannot reach out to politicians to address their problems. Another major issue is water supply. We pay 40 per cent extra as water tax, but there is no adequate water supply. Some areas receive 24x7 water supply, some receive for six hours, whereas other areas are dependent on water tankers. Just before the elections, politicians promise all basic amenities only to garner votes. Once elected, all promises are forgotten. We want better water supply, good infrastructure, functional drainage systems and rules to be followed not only by residents but also by politicians. Only then will this city change for better.
We are sitting on pile of garbage
Hadapsar’s garbage issue has been piling on for a few years now. We live in a dirty and unhygienic place. There is no system for garbage disposal. Certain chowks are nothing, but a large landfill. We are sitting on a pile of garbage. The local politicians are concentrating on transportation, but have ignored two key problems — civic hygiene and water shortage. In addition to this, the constituency also needs good infrastructure, modern drainages, CCTV surveillance, a garbage processing plant, new traffic signal system and regular water supply. The economic development of Hadapsar constituency is far more crucial that the politicians’ hollow slogans of developments.
Protect green spaces
The two things that matter to me are public transport and green spaces in the city. The benefits of urban forests are now well recognised — like preservation of biodiversity, improvement of air quality, carbon sequestration, increase in groundwater recharge and provision of green space for physical exercise and fostering psychological well-being. If Pune is to continue as the most liveable city in India, it is vital to protect its natural heritage and all development must be planned in an innovative way that preserves our tekdis and forests. We also need a good public transport system in the form of frequent, well connected AC buses. This will come at a fraction of the cost of hugely expensive projects like the proposed HCMTR where two thirds of the width of the elevated road is for private vehicles and will destroy three of Pune’s tekdis. What we urgently need in Pune is a sustainable model of development which will not come at the cost of valuable green space.
Awareness among residents is a must
The entire city is pothole ridden and faces problems pertaining to waste management. In order to resolve these issues we must elect the right person. Pune needs a leader who is responsible enough to change the city’s scenario and address residents’ issues with “practical” work and not just “oral”. For this the residents must be aware of all the politicians who are contesting seats from respective areas. Awareness among residents is important to elect the right leader.
Good footpath, my foot
I am an 84-year-old resident and there is a need of a senior citizen-friendly footpath at Bhau Patil road, Bopodi. It was our demand four elections ago and continues to be so, this time as well. It is the most neglected road. The road is important as it is parallel to Pune-Mumbay highway. How can Pune be a smart city if there are no good footpaths?
Seeking resolution for pending problems
Sub-standard civic infrastructure has been a concern among voters. Also, there have been no sustainable solutions to basic civic problems like erratic water supply, bad roads and poor garbage disposal mechanism, among others. These were the problems during the previous election as well. Hence, we must appoint a leader who will help us seek solutions for these long-pending problems. Encroachment, traffic jams and transportation have become critical issues as well. Increasing number of accidents must also be addressed.
No solution to civic issues, no vote
Improving transportation in Pune should be one of the top priorities. Instead, buses of Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) are adding to traffic woes with frequent breakdown, irregular service and the overall poor condition of fleet. Political leaders must travel by a PMPML bus to understand the grievances of the commuters. Public bus transport in Pune has gone from bad to worse. If there is no solution to the problem, there will be no vote.
First Published: Oct 12, 2019 21:08 IST