KARAUNDA VILLAGE, around 15 kilometres from Chandigarh, may not vote this time as residents allege lack of proper roads in the village. Posters have come up making an appeal to people not to vote. The posters also mention four demands of the villagers. Karaunda is not alone; there are four other villages as well which have decided not to vote.
“There are five villages — Jayanti Majri, Ghurna, Kasauli, Karaunda and Majri. In the past, these villages used to have a common panchayat. Now every village has its separate panchayat. However, sometimes panchayts of all the villages take common decisions. Recently, representatives all the five villages met at Jayanti Majri and decided to appeal to people not to participate in the election process,” says Ranjit Singh, a resident of Karaunda village.
After the meeting, Ranjit says, they put up posters outside various houses in their village in which they also mentioned their four urgent demands. Shinda Singh claims that their village is the last on the Punjab-Haryana border and there is no road connectivity to Haryana side, which poses problems for those who have relatives living at nearby Tanda village.
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“Three days ago, a man was killed in a road accident. His body was to be taken from PGI to Tanda through our village on an unpaved road but the vehicle in which the body was taken got struck in the mud in a seasonal rivulet which passes from one side of the village. After a struggle of one-and-a-half hour, we managed to get the vehicle out of the mud. Whenever there is rain, vehicles get struck in the mud,” Shinda Singh says.
Vikram Singh, another villager, says that they have demanded upgradation of government high school at Jayanti Majri village to senior secondary level, construction of 2-km road connecting Bagindhi village to main road at Kasauli village, construction of a 12-km-long road from Mullanpur Garibdass barrier up to Tanda village under Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojna, and construction of a small bridge over a seasonal rivulet at Karaunda.