Cleanliness, development, security and the shifting of dumping ground — this is what residents of the city demand from their new mayor. Results of the Panchkula Municipal Corporation will be declared on Wednesday.
The Indian Express talked to people across the city from several walks of life to know the factors that affected their votes and what they expected from the mayor, being elected after a gap of more than two and a half years.
Voicing the concern of his team of Citizens Welfare Association, S K Naiyar, president of CWA Panchkula city, wants “actual development” at every level. He said, “I want people to know what development actually means. It is not cleanliness or routine re-carpeting of the roads. Those are things utmost necessary and the basic task as to why the corporations were formed in the first place. Development will mean taking the city forward where it can actually be called a model city.”
Naiyar insists that not only development but even the basic tasks to be undertaken by the MC have remained stalled for the past more than two years. “We want our representatives to work for us. It should be a people-centric office. We know you cannot improve the connectivity or make a medical college, but you can undertake the completion of basic works promised to us long back.”
While Naiyar aims at all-round development for the city, there are several who only dream of the basic civic amenities to be improved. Dr Sariyu Arora, resident of Sector 7, said, “Cleanliness should be the prime concern of the next mayor. Panchkula, aimed to be developed on the lines of Paris, reeks of garbage accumulated on the B-roads and even footpaths of the prime roads in the city. There are dumps right next to the bicycle stands. There are trash houses that stand between markets, including in the market of my sector. We even have to fight for basic amenities to be undertaken by MC.”
The garbage issues of Panchkula have always figured amongst the top-most complaints in the region. The woes rise even as Panchkula MC gears up for the upcoming Swachh-Survekshan of 2021. Battling against garbage disposal issues, Panchkula has also remained unable to implement a new waste collection model on a pilot basis, which was to begin in the second week of October, but could not be made possible due to long strikes by the current unorganised garbage collection group.
The civic body had roped in the Feedback Foundation Charitable Trust from Gurgaon as part of the pilot project to collect garbage in four different dustbins under the heads of dry, wet, bio-medical and hazardous. The project was to be started in two wards covering sectors 12, 12A, 11, 14 and 15 but has not been able to lift off as yet. With the mayoral election in place, hopes for a clean city have again risen.
While cleanliness and development have been the prime issues of the city residents, those in the trans-Ghaggar sectors demand a more secure life. “Thefts and snatchings have now become an everyday event. We are scared to even walk out in the evenings. There is infrequent police watch, if any, and mostly we only spot them lazing around near liquor vends. Security needs to be amped up in sectors across trans-Ghaggar, especially since the residential areas here are sparse along with a prevalent rural population,” said Shalini Singh, who resides in Sector 27 of the city.
Another resident of the area, residing in Sector 25, Rajesh Kumar Dhiman complains about the slow pace of shifting out the dumping ground from between the sectors. He said, “The work of bio-remediation has remained slow. After the process had finally begun in September, we were told a deadline for 2021 has been given for the shifting. But the way work is going, we suspect there are just promises.”
Bio-remediation of legacy waste situated at the Sector 23 dumping ground of Panchkula had begun in September this year, after a delay of several months with an aim to complete the process by April next year, as per a deadline given by the National Green Tribunal.
The disposal plant was inaugurated by local MLA Gian Chand Gupta and was aimed at remediating as much as four lakh tonnes waste.
The project is being built at a cost of Rs 38 crore and the area after bio-mining of waste will be developed into a park.
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