Pathankot, a young district with old problems
In more than three years of becoming the district headquarters, the city has only struggled for basic amenities and finance.
The hopes built when Pathankot was declared a district in July 2011 and, later, when the town council was converted into a corporation with the promise of more money are dashed. With not enough hands and capacity to clear and treat the tonnes of daily waste it produces, the city is looking at an environmental disaster.
Its gutters are choked with banned polythene bags and its roads with traffic. It requires new sewer lines and flyovers but the plans are not in sight. For hours, the locals remain stuck at the two main railway crossings: a waste of both time and fuel. "Achhe din (good days) have not started for this city," said Jan Jagran Manch president BD Chugh.
The promised Industrial Growth Centre, which can bring manufacturers and many jobs to the district, hasn't materialised. Cattle grazes on it large site. Pathankot Improvement Trust has abandoned the popular auditorium project.
The local airport awaits the return of aviation companies, and even local parliamentarian Vinod Khanna
appears to have taken flight after winning the Lok Sabha seat.
Pathankot legislator Ashwani Sharma, who played a key role in the district movement, claimed he had improved the state of roads and streets, and made living standards better for townsfolk. "I am also trying to bring two flyovers to the city to solve its traffic problem. We'll hire more safai karamcharis (sanitation workers) to lift garbage," he said.