Updated: June 27, 2022 12:06:32 am
Following AAP candidate Durgesh Pathak’s victory in the Rajinder Nagar bypoll on Sunday, several residents of the constituency The Indian Express spoke to reiterated their key demands for 24×7 water supply, proper roads and sanitation and said they hope the new MLA will fulfil them.
Sandeep Duggal, president of the H-Block Resident Welfare Association in Naraina Vihar, said: “In the last election too, we chose AAP and Raghav Chadha. But the pandemic broke out during the first half of his tenure and he couldn’t do much… then the Punjab election happened… We hope Pathak will work for the public.”
Duggal also said he want the new MLA to open the overbridges between Inderpuri and Naraina Vihar for vehicles: “Ever since the bridge was closed, commuters have to take a longer route to reach Inderpuri or Naraina Vihar. As a result, the stretch around Todapur sees heavy traffic. We will submit a memorandum soon to the MLA once he takes charge to take some action in the matter.”
At Ratanpuri Chowk slum cluster, situated on the main road that leads to Rajinder Nagar Metro station and Naraina Vihar, residents too said water was their prime concern.
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Nurwana (32) said, “The AAP has done a lot for people, especially women, like free bus rides. But major problems in our jhuggi area are lack of water supply, proper sewer line and toilet services. The former MLA provided water facilities as promised, but it is limited… I have faith in Kejriwalji… we hope Pathak will address our issues.”
Amar Kumar (47), a Naraina Vihar resident, said: “Water supply is a major problem in our area. We were told supply will come for an hour in the morning and evening, but it comes for about 30 minutes only. People with bigger families cannot manage with this. So, our key demand from the new MLA is 24×7 water. Secondly, we want infrastructure development, especially safe roads for both commuters and pedestrians.
Meanwhile, Deepak (22), who has a small shop selling chips, juice and water, said, “My demand is a pakka makan (pucca house) for slum dwellers. During the polls, Kejriwal had promised ‘jahan jhuggi wahi makaan’, so I want that. Once we get a permanent house, other problems will be resolved automatically.”
Other raised issues of women’s safety. “In comparison to previous governments, the AAP is doing good work… that is why I came here to support Pathak today… My key request, apart from water and road infrastructure, is security. In the last few years, thefts and snatching cases have increased a lot in the Rajinder Nagar area… This also poses a threat to women’s safety,” said Pavneet Kaur, a resident of Rajinder Nagar.
Inderpuri resident Gurmeet Singh hopes Pathak can focus on youngsters: “The new MLA is young and energetic… There are many coaching centres in this area and fees are steep, so I request him to regulate fees or provide some relaxation so students coming from financially weaker sections can also study and appear for competitive exams.”
Residents also demanded a common helpline number to raise their grievances with the MLA.
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