Delhi elections: Poor civic amenities may pose hurdle to Arvinder

Considered a Congress stronghold, Gandhi Nagar`s crumbling infrastructure and poor civic amenities may pose some challenge to Revenue Minister Arvinder Singh in the electoral battle for the seat.

PTI| Last Updated: Nov 27, 2013, 11:49 AM IST

New Delhi: Considered a Congress stronghold, Gandhi Nagar`s crumbling infrastructure and poor civic amenities may pose some challenge to Revenue Minister Arvinder Singh in the electoral battle for the seat that has been electing him for past 15 years.

Large-scale encroachments, traffic snarls, lack of parking space and faulty drainage system are other major problems faced by the residents of the East Delhi constituency.

The wholesale cloth market, said to be Asia`s biggest, has compounded problems for the residents as it has been putting pressure on existing infrastructure, besides causing heavy traffic jams on major roads.

Residents dread monsoon season as even a short spell of rain results in flooding of the lanes in colonies as well as major roads.

They complain that despite sewer lines being laid over 10 years ago, these were never made functional. Besides that, there is a growing resentment among voters over scarcity of water supply in the area. Areas like Seelampur and Welcome are the worst affected.

"The civic facilities including water supply and drainage system are in shambles. The condition in Seelampur area is pathetic. Encroachment and illegal constructions in recent past have gone up manifold in the area," said Saheb Singh of Kanti Nagar.

Traders, who are the major constituents of the area, said infrastructure growth has not been up to their expectations.

Gandhi Nagar has been with Congress since 1998 when Singh contesting for the first time defeated the BJP candidate by a huge margin and became the youngest MLA at the age of 28.

Jain said many people including him will vote for Aam
Aadmi Party for its "clean image" and zeal to change the system. "I am for sure not going to vote for Congress this time," he added.

Accusing Singh of neglecting Gandhi Nagar constituency, BJP candidate R C Jain said, "There is a long list of problems pervading the area. In all spheres whether it is scarcity of water, bad sanitation condition, problem of traffic or non-functional sewer system, Gandhi Nagar is suffering."

However, Bhatia said Singh has not lost much ground and still has strong presence. "He is working in right direction. He has good public relations. He meets public from time to time and solves their problems. Overall position of Singh is good in the area."

Singh has been credited for bringing Gandhi Nagar under the Metro phase-III expansion.

Besides that there are residents who said Singh has done a lot to improve the living condition of residents.

When asked, Singh exuded confidence of a fourth victory and accused Opposition parties of trying to mislead people.

Suraj Kumar, a resident of Shanti Mohalla, said, "A lot of development has taken in my area. We are getting better water and electricity supply. Singh ji listens to people`s problems and try to provide prompt solutions as well. He will definitely win."

The total number of electors in Gandhi Nagar is 1.49 lakh, out of which 84,037 are men, 65,199 are female and 4,166 are first time voters. The gender ratio stands at 776 women to 1000 men. There are over 2,500 Sikh families which live in Gandhi Nagar.