Water crisis, sanitation key issues for New Delhi

New Delhi, March 28, 2014: Sanitation, water shortage, bad housing infrastructure and lack of parking spaces, these are the primary issues that most residents of the New Delhi Parliamentary constituency assert, need to be dealt with.

In view of the forthcoming 2014 Lok Sabha elections they expect the candidates of the different political parties to resolve such issues, which are not new and which is affecting them on a daily basis.

The New Delhi constituency consists of prominent locations of historical importance such as Rajpath, Janpath, Connaught Place, Rashtrapati Bhawan and posh residential colonies near Teen Murti. But it also has colonies such as Ranjit Nagar, Masjid Moth, Joshi Road and Jodhpur Mess, where infrastructure problems are abounded.

A retired government servant Inder Bir Singh (71), who resides at Ranjit Nagar, said that the main problem in his colony is the sewage system. "The sewage system was constructed for single-storey houses. What is happening now is that people are constructing four-five storey houses. And the sewage system is not capable of handling the pressure from these multi-storey buildings. As a result, the sewage seeps on the streets outside our houses," he said.

Far away from Ranjit Nagar is a crowded locality called Masjid Moth. A resident Suresh (45) said that water supply to the colony lasts for a few hours every day. "It comes in the morning and in the evening. But there is no fixed timing for it. And the water is as bad as the sewage," she said.

Another Masjid Moth resident, Rekha Saini, said, "There was no water supply on the day of Holi. People were aware that such a thing would happen and so they had filled their buckets on the night prior to the festival," she said.

While taking into account the basic requirements of proper sanitation, clean water supply, housing and roads, the candidates from the main political parties, Ashish Khetan of the AAP, Meenakshi Lekhi of BJP and Ajay Maken of the Congress, have asserted that infrastructure development is one of their main priorities for the elections.

Speaking to The Tribune, Lekhi said that there has to be budgetary allocation and formulas for solving problems regarding infrastructure. "The budget is not being allocated for the provision of finances for preventing these problems. There also has to be housing and proper infrastructure at a large scale. This is the key plan of the BJP, of setting up 100 new 'smart cities' with planned infrastructure, sewage system, water, electricity and zoning of industrial and residential areas," said Lekhi, who is contesting the elections for the first time.

She is a national spokesperson for the BJP and is a Supreme Court lawyer. Her rival, Maken is an MP of the 15th Lok Sabha and a former union minister. He has been an MP from the New Delhi constituency for the past 10 years. In 2004, he had won over the BJP candidate, Jagmohan, by a margin of 12,784 votes. Then in 2009, Maken won over senior BJP leader Vijay Goel by a margin of close to two lakh votes.

Khetan, who is an investigative journalist and was running an online news portal called Gulail.com, agreed that water, electricity, streets, sewage and corruption are the main issues in the New Delhi Parliamentary constituency. "Everyone has to deal with them. And do not consider these as local issues, but as national issues. We will raise them in Parliament," he told this correspondent.

He believes that the AAP chief, Arvind Kejriwal's win over the former Delhi Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit, by a margin of more than 25,000 votes from the New Delhi Assembly constituency during the Delhi Assembly Elections, will benefit him for the Lok Sabha elections.

Lekhi, Maken and Khetan are among the 29 candidates contesting the elections from the New Delhi constituency. (Source: Shaurya Karanbir Gurung, Tribune News Service)

28-03-2014 | Posted by Admin