Rajinder Nagar bypoll: Potable water supply, sewer line, roads among key election issues

  • | Thursday | 23rd June, 2022

New Delhi, Jun 23 (PTI) Potable water supply, sewer lines, broken roads and the new liquor policy were among the key election issues for many Rajinder Nagar residents as they stepped out to vote in the bypoll to the assembly constituency on Thursday morning.The Rajinder Nagar assembly seat fell vacant after AAP leader Raghav Chadha was elected to Rajya Sabha recently.Several voters alleged that no developmental work was undertaken in the constituency."I voted for development, which this constituency lacks. Issues of water supply, parking and encroachment need to be fixed. I believe people are voting on development issues," Gurjeet Singh, who came to exercise his franchise at a Rajinder Nagar R Block polling station, told PTI.Shortage of potable water emerged as a key issue across the Rajinder Nagar constituency. In posh colonies of the area, issues of development, vehicle parking and encroachment are prevalent, several voters claimed.In urban villages and Jhuggi-Jhopri clusters of the constituency, including Inderpuri, Budh Nagar, Pandav Nagar and Naraina, issues of water supply, sewer lines, electricity and poor roads are prominent.Ganga (23), a resident of Naraina, said water supply was the biggest issue in her area."Drinking water is not available. We want 24X7 fresh water facility. This is the biggest issue for us. My husband goes to work and my in-laws are old. Every day, I have to go and get cans filled from water tankers," Ganga said after casting her vote at a polling booth in Naraina.A resident of C-Block Rajinder Nagar, Ramesh Batra said the issue of water shortage and opening of liquor vends in the locality were on his mind as he cast his vote."I voted to get these problems addressed," Batra said outside a polling station near Ganga Ram hospital in Old Rajinder Nagar.Posters were also seen near some polling booths in Naraina which read, "Those who promote alcohol business must not come here to seek votes." At some polling stations, people also criticised the city government"s liquor policy."Due to the new liquor policy, alcohol vends are opening up near residential areas and religious places. This should stop. We have voted keeping all this in mind," Shagun Kalra, a resident of New Rajinder Nagar said.Naraina resident Rajbati said water and bad roads were the biggest problems in the area."We used to live near the Pahari area in Naraina where the situation is worse. Tenants don"t want to stay there due to the lack of a proper water supply facility and decent roads. We have now shifted to Tikona Park," the 75-year-old said.Voting for the bypoll to the Rajinder Nagar assembly seat in Delhi began on Thursday morning. It is largely being seen as a battle between a confident Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and a spirited Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).AAP"s Durgesh Pathak is likely to have a close contest with BJP"s Rajesh Bhatia, who had also been a councillor from the area. The Congress has fielded former councillor Prem Lata.A total of 1,64,698 voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in the bye-election, in which 14 candidates are in the fray.Voters said they want to make most of this opportunity of by-election in their constituency to get their key issues addressed.  "Water supply is bad in my area and so is the condition of sewer and roads. We want these issues to get addressed so we have voted for the development," Kushal Kumar, 35, a resident of Inderpuri said, who came to cast his vote at a polling booth in E-block.Voters in Pandav Nagar and Naraina areas of the constituency also complained about bad roads riddled with potholes, sewer and poor water supply.They said roads are dotted with potholes which are hardly repaired. In rainy seasons, they get filled with water and become breeding grounds for mosquitoes, voters complained."Elections come and go, but no action is taken to resolve the water issue in the area. In some areas, water comes for only one hour in the day. Rest of the day, the people suffer. It is not even fresh water. Sewers also always get over flowed during rains," Rita, 52, a resident of Pandav Nagar said.Over 43 per cent voters in the Rajinder Nagar assembly constituency in Delhi exercised their franchise on Thursday, officials said.In the 2020 polls, the voter turnout in Rajinder Nagar was 58.27 per cent -- 58.09 per cent male voters and 58.5 per cent female voters. PTI AKM VA TDS TDS

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