In Mayur Vihar Phase III, the part of East Delhi that borders the industrial areas of Noida in Uttar Pradesh, there was a very interesting pattern to be noted during voting on Sunday. From early morning the queues were mostly of people in the 40s or even older. Younger voters were few and far between.
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Mayur Vihar Phase- I, II, and III as well as New Ashok Nagar bordering Uttar Pradesh, and Chattarpur, Sultanpur, Ghittorni adjacent to Gurugram in Haryana all have a peculiar demographic mix: most of the younger residents here are migrants who don’t have voting rights where they stay.
Speaking to indianexpress.com, Manoj Kumar, AAP MLA from Kondli East, explained: “Most of the voters in this area are from outside states staying here for jobs. The young people who worked in various industries, companies and media houses in Noida stay here as the accommodation cost in this area quite cheap.”
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Though most of the people have already applied for inclusion of their name in the local electoral list, most of these names have not yet been added, said Kumar. “The Aam Admi Party and other opposition parties have already raised this issue in the Supreme Court, and the matter will be further raised after the election.”
Raviraj Pandey, sector president, Resident Welfare Association (RWA Sector- VIII), Mayur Vihar Phase-III, said most of the young residents here were from West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar and parts of Uttar Pradesh. “Around 40 to 50 per cent voters have no voting rights.”
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“The accommodation cost in Noida is quite high and there is a lack of security. The youths who are working in the industrial areas of Noida hence prefer to stay here as the rent ranges from Rs 4,000 for a single BHK to Rs 10,000 for 2 BHK,” Pandey added.
New Ashok Nagar, a 10-minute drive from Noida’s Sector 16 Film City and just a kilometre away from Sector 1 which houses lots of public sector undertakings (PSUs), is popular among youth staying in PG accommodation and rented flats, says Vijendra Sharma who owns a paying guest accommodation. “Most of the young people who are working in media houses or other PSUs like to stay here as it is near their offices. The cost of rented accommodation varies from Rs 3,500 to Rs 7,000, often including food,” he says.
This unique demographic mix means the area has some other peculiarities. Dinesh Sharma, a 50-year-old restaurant owner, explained that during Diwali, Durga Puja and Holi the area is almost deserted as the residents go home for the holidays. “There is hardly any business during the time.”