NOIDA: Even as the state gears up for impending polls and the ruling Samajwadi Party
(SP) remains embroiled in family squabbles, residents of Noida are in a mood to seek some tough answers from representatives of the many political parties before they hit the campaign trail. Topping the agenda for Noida and Gautam Budh Nagar residents at large are – answers on freehold property in Noida – a poll promise unfulfilled by SP despite its mention in their manifesto. The RWA federation has decided to take up the issue just as they did for a toll free DND through their PIL. “The SP government in its manifesto had promised freehold property for residents of Noida. It’s been close to five years of their rule with full majority. Then why was the promise not fulfilled? What is their excuse? Isn’t the right to property a valid right for the residents of the city? How long do political parties want to exploit the common man whose hard earned money goes in building one home for himself which in Noida is still on 99-year lease? Election after election political parties make tall claims with dazzling sops for the common man, but none is fulfilled. It’s time residents of Noida woke up and exercised their mandate in favour of only those who are willing to serve their interests and not the larger interests of their party or ideology,” said N P Singh, president Federation of Noida Residents Welfare Associations (FONRWA).
According to Singh, Gautam Budh Nagar is a constituency rich in revenue and infrastructure facilities. But the benefits of these are not reaped by its residents which still languish in deteriorating law and order across the city/district, traffic snarls, illegal parking, harassments of homebuyers by builders, lack of transparency in public works, lack of public transportation like DTC for Noida, public facilities like toilets/water every 500 metres, maintenance of parks and open spaces, dedicated vendor zones, parking regulation and more.
According to Amit Gupta, a resident of Sector 77, despite the many infrastructure expansions and new projects like elevated roads, underpasses and metro rail etc., the city’s growth is negligible. “Sorry to say but the ‘so called smart city Noida’ is on its way to become any backward city with no forward management and no planning. Just building underpasses, elevated roads, U turns etc. don’t make any city smart. Noida lacks in basic amenities such as a dedicated garbage dump yard which is still not in place despite the city’s exponential growth for the last 30 years. Its sewers and drains are blocked, there’s no rain water harvest in place, its water is still not suitable for human consumption, its roads are encroached, parking spaces are unregulated, and the city suffers daily traffic snarls. I can go on. This is not what you expect from a revenue generating IT, publishing and corporate hub of India,” said Gupta who not only battles daily traffic jams, but also suffers on account of lack of parking due to encroachment in at his work space in Sector 62.
According to S K Jain, president of market association, Sector 18, “Political parties while campaigning during polls promise the moon, but in reality once the polling is over, their only interest from Noida remains in its revenue which is diverted to other cities of Uttar Pradesh instead of Gautam Budh Nagar,” said Jain, adding that every residential sector should have medical services with OPD facilities linked with government hospitals, sports facilities within maximum distance of 2 km and increase in government school/college as per population growth.
A large and new vote bank is expected from newer sectors such as 71, 72, 75, 76, 77, 78, 119, 120, 121, and 122. Their immediate redressals relate to infrastructure facilities such as necessary U-turns, local markets, community centres, hospitals and metro connectivity. “These would be the deciding issues for many such voters even as the larger growth and development of the city is the benchmark,” said Gupta.
Singh in the meantime reiterates that many developmental projects (currently at various stages of progress or in the pipeline) were all a joint result of residents’ feedback and previous government’s plans. “Without residents’ valuable feedback through RWA meetings with officials, none of these would have seen the light of day. Hence it’s time the residents staked their claim while exercising their voting rights during elections,” said Singh. He adds that residents batting mohalla committees on various developmental and maintenance related work of authority should now reflect in their representation in Noida and Greater Noida authority boards.