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MCG polls: Grappling with civic issues, ward 19 residents to vote for change

Grappling with broken roads, inadequate water supply and defunct streetlights for the last 20 year, residents want the winning councillor to deliver on promises

gurgaon Updated: Sep 17, 2017 21:59 IST
Leena Dhankhar
Leena Dhankhar
hindustan times
mcg elections,mcg polls,ward 19
A broken road in Sector 15, which is part of ward 19. (Parveen Kumar/HT PHOTO)

Residents of Ward 19 in Gurgaon want change at the helm of the city’s civic administration, as they have been grappling with poor infrastructure, bad roads, water and power shortages for the last two decades.

Despite changes in government, politicians failed to deliver on promises made to residents and the failure of civic agencies to improve amenities in the area compounded the woes of residents.

Residents said they are even considering voting against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the next assembly elections if the civic deficiencies aren’t addressed soon.

The ward extends from Sector 15 to the Mini Secretariat and covers prominent areas including, Sector 15, parts 1 and 2, sectors 30, 31, Vijay Vihar, Jalvayu Vihar, Sectors 32A, 32 and 40, Kirti Nagar, Friends Colony and Civil Lines.

Residents said they are not happy with the way the ward is divided, as one half lies on one side of the National Highway and the other half is on the other side. Across the ward, residents grapple with broken or poorly-maintained roads, lack of adequate transportation and sanitation issues.

However, residents of sectors 30, 31 and 40 have arguably suffered the most on account of bad roads and poor traffic management. Residents said there has been little or no development in the area for the last 10 years despite tall claims by the authorities and the lack of civic amenities testifies to the same.

“While candidates visit us before elections and promise to build and repair roads and provide basic facilities, they don’t care to show up once elected. The tall promises are only for votes,” Kavita Chillar, a resident of Sector 30, said.

Ramesh Vasishta, a resident and member of the district grievance committee, said, “Residents of Sector 15, parts 1 and 2, are often the worst-hit during peak summer time. The sector doesn’t get adequate water supply in summer and residents have to depend on private tanker operators to meet their day-to-day needs. Garbage often piles up roadside for over a week and is removed only after repeated complaints tom authorities.”

Residents said living in these sectors often becomes a challenge, as the local transportation system is sorely inadequate to cater to their needs. They said they have to cross over to the other side of the highway to catch a ride to Delhi.

“This sector has not seen any development for the last 15 years. The condition of the roads is getting worse by the day and, during monsoon, they turn deadly as several accidents take place. Adding to our woes is the absence of streetlights and the majority of the ones that are there remain non-functional at night,” Kavita Chillar, a resident of Sector 30, said.

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Residents of Vijay Vihar, on Silokhra Road in Sector 30, have lodged several complaints with the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) regarding poor sanitation and open garbage pile in front of housing societies. They alleged that despite several complaints, no action has been taken.

Residents said they met the former councillor on several occasions and urged him to take action, but their pleas went unheard.

Monika Pal, a resident of Vijay Vihar, said, “I have been living in this colony since 1991 and have rarely seen any sanitation work done here. Unauthorised taxi stands have come up on vacant plots and drivers are often seen bathing in the open. We feel unsafe stepping out at night.”

The ward has two prominent markets, in sectors 31 and 15, that are known for eateries and grocery shopping. However, encroachments are a major hassle for shoppers in these markets. Residents said despite informing the authorities, no action has been taken to remove encroachments.

“The congestion on the stretch leading to the market is a major issue, as we get stuck for more than 15 minutes whenever we visit the market. There is no police deployment in these areas and chain snatching is a regular affair,” Purnima Singh, a resident of Sector 31, said.

The road leading towards the Mini Secretariat is a desolate stretch after sundown and these walking on it often feel unsafe. The main road from Rajeev Chowk towards Sadar is fast moving, but once one turns right towards the old Excise building, it’s akin to a haunted place.

“During the day, we are not able move our vehicles from the stretch, as cab drivers and people visiting the court and Mini Secretariat park illegally and leave us no space to manoeuvre. At night, the area is isolated and dark, as the streetlights don’t work,” Gaurav Sharma, a resident of Sector 15, Part 2, said.

Residents now want the candidates to make a pledge for change before seeking their votes. “While politicians and elections come and go, our problems remain the same. This needs to change,” Abhinav Sharma, a resident of Sector 15, said.

First Published: Sep 17, 2017 21:58 IST