Ahead of Lok Sabha elections, garbage collection has become poll issue in Jaipur
With Jaipur struggling with the garbage problem, it has become a major poll issue, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. While some residents claim that the previous BJP government failed to implement the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan to its potential, others, especially the walled city residents, say that the waste management has worsened under the present Congress rule.
Dhan Raj Kumawat, president of Nanak Vihar Vikas Samiti, said that until cleanliness is made an issue in the elections, the political parties will not care about focusing on the same. “The door-to-door garbage collection vehicle in our society has been extremely irregular in taking rounds. Even as garbage lifting is a big problem in the city for a very long time, the condition now has much deteriorated. The present government should make more efforts to solve the problem,” said Kumawat, adding that, “There are several areas in the city where the cleanliness issue is extreme; people will definitely vote for the party which promises them a clean Jaipur.”
The walled city residents find garbage strewn in the lanes to be the biggest threat to their health. “Selective collection of garbage is problem where garbage is collected from some lanes while the other lanes are left unclean. Several roads are in a bad state where the water collected in potholes adds to the woes. Stray cattle menace is also prominent in the walled city,” said Ashok Sharma, a walled city resident. “In such a scenario, people will vote for the leader who is not corrupt and will understand about the inconvenience caused (to the people),” Sharma added.
Jaipur dropped down to 44th position in the Swachh Survekshan Survey-2019 from the 39th position bagged in 2018. Last year, Jaipur bagged the “fastest growing capital city award’ in the survey. This year, the city bagged ‘Open Defecation Free (++)’ certificate.
Rajiv Gupta, former head of the department of sociology at Rajasthan University, said that the cleanliness issue, if raised in the present elections, will be a good start. “The cleanliness issue is often not being raised in the elections since it is not considered a move to woo the voters. Moreover, there is a lot of class discrimination in the collection of garbage in the city. Where on one hand the political parties try to establish cleanliness as an issue to pat their backs in the posh localities of the city, in the colonies such as walled city, where middle class and lower middle class people reside, they try concentrating on emotional community related issue for elections. This is a basic problem with areas with large volume and population density,” said Gupta.
The two major political parties of the state fielding their candidates in the general elections accept that cleanliness issue is deeply connected to the people.
Satyendra Singh Raghav, the Congress party spokesperson, said that cleanliness is a basic necessity for the people and they also vote considering the same. “The BJP government never worked for cleanliness in the city; people, therefore, are not satisfied by their (BJP leaders) job. Jaipur has been a beautiful city, but the condition deteriorated under the BJP government. The BJP gave the slogan for Swachh Bharat, but could not do anything to work in Jaipur. Since our government has come in, people have a lot of expectations which we are committed to fulfil,” said Raghav.
Mukesh Pareek, the BJP spokesperson, said that the people of Jaipur will vote for the Lok Sabha elections keeping the cleanliness factor in mind when within less than 100 days of the advent of the Congress government garbage woes started to affect the city people, along with other factors like stray cattle menace and potholed roads. “The city slipped down five positions in the Swachh Survekshan Survey-2019 this year... Since the Congress government has come in, the work being done for cleanliness has been stopped. The people of Jaipur will definitely keep this in mind while voting for the Lok Sabha elections,” said Pareek.