North west Delhi: Fight for basics and beyond

High crime rate, parking woes, non-extension of Lal Dora areas and lack of adequate health care facilities are some of the pressing issues of the people of North West Delhi comprising a total of ten assembly segments.

PTI| Last Updated: Feb 04, 2015, 15:54 PM IST

New Delhi: High crime rate, parking woes, non-extension of Lal Dora areas and lack of adequate health care facilities are some of the pressing issues of the people of North West Delhi comprising a total of ten assembly segments.

The area has a mix of Dalits, Jats, Vaish and other community members and is one of the most densely populated regions of Delhi.

North West Delhi, comprising urban and rural-urban areas, has assembly constituencies of Narela, Badli, Rithala, Bawana, Mundka, Kirari, Sultan Pur Majra, Nangloi Jat, Mangolpuri and Rohini.

Out of the 10 seats, BJP had emerged victorious in five seats while Congress and AAP won two each in 2013 election. One seat was won by an independent.

"We used to have open spaces around our houses 5-10 years ago, but today there is a surge of new houses here. There is no infrastructure to match the increasing population. Non-availability of parking spaces has led to many brawls here," complains 48-year-old Shobha, a housewife living in Rohini since the past 20 years.

The rural-urban nature of the area lends itself to a wide range of issues like the basic necessities of 'Roti, kapda, makan' as well as the those related to socio-political and economic conditions.

"Having the Centre and state ruled by a common force has its own perks. There will be smooth co-ordination leading to removal of bottlenecks to development, otherwise there will only be contention," says Udit Raj, the incumbent BJP MP from the constituency.

The 54-year-old former IRS officer who defeated AAP's Rakhi Birla by a vote margin of 1,06,802 from the constituency in the last Lok Sabha elections, feels that a smooth co-ordination between the Centre and the state is crucial for development.

High population density combined with paucity of space has forced people to demand extension of Lal Dora areas.

Non-extension of Lal Dora areas is a major issue for a large section of residents. As per Section 81 of Land Reforms Act, Lal Dora areas were classified as part of the village habitation to be used for non-agricultural purposes only.

It is one of the primary concerns in the rural belt of the constituency.

BJP is banking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's popularity as well as party's Chief Ministerial candidate Kiran Bedi's "clean image".

"We are using all media outlets like social networking, TV, radio, messages, mails and other forms for the upcoming elections," said a young BJP activist.

Even though the BJP MP exudes confidence of a victory, the battle seems to be a tough one as AAP and Congress are not leaving any stone unturned for the February seven electoral battle.

"Though Arvind Kejriwal is portrayed as an anarchist by the opposition, he has not lost his touch with the electorate. A lot of young volunteers have signed up for the AAP campaign reflecting their hope in the party," says 21-year-old Umesh Sharma from Rithala, a college student and AAP volunteer.

AAP is working extensively to regain its support by organising door-to-door campaigns, road shows, flash mobs and street plays.

Congress, meanwhile, is banking on its loyal clusters of Sultan Pur and Badli where the party registered victory in the last assembly elections.

"Delhi residents are aware of the various projects and schemes brought out successfully by the Congress. We did not rule the capital on rhetoric or empty promises, Neither did we run away from responsibility," says a local Congress leader from Badli area.

As parties blow their trumpet, people of the rural areas of Bawana, Badli and Rithala complain of non-performance by state agencies in addressing their grievances.