Lok Sabha elections 2019: Pollution, roads top issues as Gurgaon votes today
In Gurugram city, people said the government should resolve the issue of increasing pollution and dwindling tree cover.Updated: May 12, 2019 07:08 IST
Gurgaon Lok Sabha constituency, which comprises nine assembly constituencies, is a mix of urban and rural elements. However, be it the Millennium City or a village in Mewat, people are still in want of better roads, regular electricity supply, schools and colleges for all, a functional healthcare system and a government that creates and provides jobs. Over the last one and half months, HT visited different parts of the constituency to know the issues and mood of voters in the run-up to today’s polls.
In Gurugram city, people said the government should resolve the issue of increasing pollution and dwindling tree cover. Across the city, thousands of trees have been felled for construction of roads and other infrastructure projects, but afforestation efforts have remained largely ineffective, said residents.
“The lack of last-mile connectivity, non-extension of Metro, unpaved roadsides, failure to curb the use of shared diesel-run autos and reliance on diesel generators have contributed to Gurugram becoming the most polluted city in the world,” said Sharad Goel, a city-based businessman.
The problems of city voters are concentrated towards the developing areas, where water supply and shifting of Kherki Daula toll plaza are the major demands. Thousands of people live beyond the toll and are cut off from the main city.
Residents of private colonies in Gurugram demanded better management of infrastructure such as roads, transformers, etc, by the municipal body.
In the east, towards Mewat, are three constituencies, located around 50 kilometres from the Millennium City. However, despite the proximity, the region, comprising Nuh, Punhana and Firozpur Zirka, recognized as the most backward district of the country by NITI Aayog, is lacking in education, development, jobs and basic infrastructure facilities.
As per the NITI Aayog’s assessment, on parameters such as education, health, agriculture, financial inclusion, skill development and infrastructure, Mewat scored a mere 26%. Locals said that there are no schools and those set up don’t have sufficient infrastructure or staff.
“The only government school here is till Class 8 and doesn’t even have a sufficient number of teachers. Even after five years of education, children are unable to write their names. The children don’t learn anything and fail to get jobs in the future,” said Zakir Hussain, a resident of Nuh.
Another major issue for Mewat residents is the constant fear of attacks by self-styled cow vigilantes. “People have stopped transporting cows but even when we are transporting buffaloes to Delhi’s Ghazipur, we are vulnerable to attacks from ‘gau rakshaks’ (cow vigilantes). The vigilantes stop us, ask for money, and beat us if we refuse. Sometimes, these vigilantes are supported by the police,” said Arshad Hussain.
Most areas in Mewat also face an acute water crisis. In Punhana, women complain they have to walk miles to get water and that too, on broken and dusty roads.
The neighbouring Rewari district, which comprises the Bawal and Rewari constituencies, is home to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress candidates. The development here is in stark contrast to Mewat, but people still said that a lot more needs to be done to bring the region on a par with Gurugram.
Residents of rural areas said that basic infrastructure, including link roads, roads connecting to the highways and bordering districts have improved, but traders and the business community said that it has not recovered from the twin jolts of demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax (GST).
From Rewari, one has to pass through the erstwhile princely state of Pataudi, while returning to Gurugram. This area is emerging as a warehousing hub of northern India, with almost every major logistics firm setting up base there. Ram Kanwar, a political analyst, said that this region mostly votes on caste basis, as it is the core of the Ahirwal belt.
Traffic management and prevention of accidents at Pachgaon Chowk on Delhi-Jaipur highway is a key demand of Pataudi residents. Women raised the issue of lack of schools and higher education institutions in an around Pataudi, due to which girls are forced to discontinue their studies, as most parents do not send their girl child to distant places for location.
In Pataudi town, residents demanded regular electricity supply, clean water, better sanitation and improved healthcare at the local level.
“The water supplied through the taps has a foul smell. It is not drinkable. Our children keep falling sick due to the poor quality of the water. We are forced to buy water for Rs20. The issues have persisted for more than two years now, but no one does anything,” said 55-year-old Salamuddin.
In neighbouring Sohna constituency, people voiced concern about lack of connectivity, need for higher educational institutions, employment and availability of drinking water. Another issue in Sohna, which is particular to this area is a lack of proper communication connectivity as telecom signals are poor in rural areas. Despite the realty boom in Sohna, there has been little benefit, in terms of employment, to locals, they said.
While Sohna has witnessed development in spurts, neighbouring Badshahpur, which is the largest assembly constituency in terms of voters, is a mix of industrial areas, upscale condominiums and a bevvy of villages, which are heavily urbanised but without infrastructure. This constituency is also congruent to Gurugram city as it encircles it geographically.
In Badshahpur, the primary demands of residents pertaining to better transport, including the extension of the Metro and bus services to cater to the large population, which is currently dependent on shared autorickshaws.
In urbanised villages such as Dundahera, Mollahera, Jharsa and Nathupur, among others, which house a large migrant population, not much development has taken place.
|Gopalganj||Janak Ram, BJP|
|Siwan||Om Prakash Yadav, BJP|
|Maharajganj||Janardan Singh Sigriwal, BJP|
|Paschim Champaran||Dr. Sanjay Jaiswal, BJP|
|Purvi Champaran||Radha Mohan Singh, BJP|
|Sheohar||Rama Devi, BJP|
|Vaishali||Rama Kishore Singh, LJP|
|Valmiki Nagar||Satish Chandra Dubey, BJP|
|Bhind||Dr. Bhagirath Prasad, BJP|
|Bhopal||Alok Sanjar, BJP|
|Guna||Jyotiraditya Scindia, Congress|
|Gwalior||Narendra Singh Tomar, BJP|
|Morena||Anoop Mishra, BJP|
|Sagar||Laxmi Narayan Yadav, BJP|
|Vidisha||Sushma Swaraj, BJP|
|Rajgarh||Rodmal Nagar, BJP|
|South Delhi||Ramesh Bidhuri, BJP|
|West Delhi||Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma, BJP|
|East Delhi||Maheish Girri, BJP|
|Chandni Chowk||Harsh Vardhan, BJP|
|North West Delhi||Udit Raj, BJP|
|North East Delhi||Manoj Tiwari, BJP|
|New Delhi||Meenakshi Lekhi, BJP|
|Ambala (SC)||Rattan Lal Kataria, BJP|
|Kurukshetra||Raj Kumar Saini, BJP|
|Sirsa (SC)||Charanjeet Singh Rori, INLD|
|Hisar||Dushyant Chautala, JJP|
|Karnal||Ashwini Kumar Chopra, BJP|
|Sonipat||Ramesh Chander Kaushik, BJP|
|Rohtak||Deepender Hooda, Congress|
|Gurgaon||Rao Inderjit Singh, BJP|
|Faridabad||Krishan Pal Gurjar, BJP|
|Allahabad||Shyama Charan Gupta, BJP|
|Ambedkar Nagar||Hariom Pandey, BJP|
|Azamgarh||Mulayam Singh Yadav, SP|
|Basti||Harish Dwivedi, BJP|
|Badohi||Virendra Singh, BJP|
|Domariyaganj||Jagdambika Pal, BJP|
|Jaunpur||KP Singh, BJP|
|Lalganj||Neelam Sonkar, BJP|
|Machhlishahr||Ram Charitra Nishad, BJP|
|Phulpur||Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel, SP|
|Pratapgarh||Kuwar Harivansh Singh, Apna Dal|
|Sant Kabir Nagar||Sharad Tripathi, BJP|
|Shrawasti||Daddan Mishra, BJP|
|Sultanpur||Varun Gandhi, BJP|
|Dhanbad||Pashupati Nath Singh, BJP|
|Giridih||Ravindra Kumar Pandey, BJP|
|Jamshedpur||Vidyut Baran Mahto, BJP|
|Singhbhum||Laxman Gilua, BJP|
|Bankura||Moon Moon Sen, Trinamool Congress|
|Bishnupur||Saumitra Khan, Trinamool Congress|
|Jhargram||Uma Saren, Trinamool Congress|
|Ghatal||Deepak Adhikari, Trinamool|
|Kanthi||Sisir Adhikari, Trinamool Congress|
|Medinipur||Sandhya Roy, Trinamool Congress|
|Purulia||Mriganko Mahato, Trinamool|
|Tamluk||Dibyendu Adhikari, Trinamool Congress|
First Published: May 12, 2019 05:43 IST