JAMMU WEST: People of Jammu West Assembly constituency, who had voted the then State BJP president, Sat Pal Sharma with much fanfare and enthusiasm and made him victorious with highest margin of 51,000 in the State, today felt dejected and very badly let down by their representative as majority of the people repented their choice, which they had made at the call of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“We voted Sat Sharma because he was well educated, and had made tall promises to address our issues and above all, was representative of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, on whom we still have full faith. However, Sharma not only failed to come up to our expectations due to his extreme poor performance, he also gave brought bad name to Modi and Shah through his performance,” majority of residents of Jammu West, whom the Excelsior spoke to ascertain performance of their former Assembly representative, said.
Jammu West and Gandhi Nagar Assembly constituencies are largest segments in terms of electorates in the State. Jammu West is spread over Janipura Colony, Old Janipura, High Court Road, Patoli Mangotrian, Paloura, Karan Nagar, Canal Road, Talab Tillo and parts of Jewel Chowk and Gol Gujral Camp.
Apart from common problems of electricity, water, roads and insanitation, people in Jammu West Assembly constituency have been facing virtual crisis in view of traffic mess for which former MLA, Sat Pal Sharma, who also remained Cabinet Minister for Housing and Urban Development, albeit for few days, failed to draw any roadmap with concerned authorities to overcome the problem.
Roads from New Plot to Janipura Colony, Jewel Chowk to Canal Road and further up to Talab Tillo and parts of BC Road, have become major issue in Jammu West Assembly segment for which the people felt, their representative did nothing despite being MLA of the ruling party, followed by the Cabinet Minister.
They were of the view that their representative was expected to approve Fly Overs or widening of road in congested roads to rid them of traffic jams but he didn’t for the reasons best known to him.
Ashok Kumar Gupta, president, Shopkeepers Association, Canal Road was, however, satisfied with the development in his area over his working tenure and added that the Krishna Nagar park has been renovated/ upgrade with tree, plants, pathway, water-cooler, proper bunches and hand-pump.
A chat with several persons, who had voted for Sat Sharma ‘CA’, or in other words for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s representative, revealed that majority of them now feel very badly dejected and let down by the former MLA in addressing the issues faced by them-be it electricity or water supply, construction of lanes, drains and roads or any other issue faced by them.
Residents of Kabir Nagar, Talab Tillo and Bhori have expressed grave concern over the prevailing insanitation in the area and sought immediate attention of the authorities at the helm of affairs as they said their repeated appeals to the former MLA even when he was legislator and Minister, didn’t materialize.
Rattan Lal, (65), a tailor by profession and a resident of Patoli Mangotrian narrated the apathy of civic authorities towards the poor conditions of drains in their area and collection of garbage, unscheduled power cut and lack of drinking water. He said Jammu West cannot become smart only by installing Traffic signals at every nook and corner which are non-functional now but by solving basic problems of waste management, water, electricity and proper roads.
Inhabitants of Paloura and Janipura expressed their strong resentment against Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) and UEED, besides their former representative, for not taking up repair work of damaged Nullah near Bonn Bread Factory despite lapse of over six months. They said they approached every concerned person including former local MLA, Municipal and UEED officers but got only assurances.
During the survey, Ajay Tandon of Bakshi Nagar too maintained that their former MLA has not come up to their expectations. “Problem of our constituency remained as it is. There is no play ground for the vast area. Children continue to play in the streets. There is no green cover, no road side plantation and due to bad planning even the smaller inner roads also witness traffic jams. All these problems were in the notice of Sat Sharma but he took no initiative to address them,” he said.
Desh Bandhu Sadhotra, a resident of Lane No-17, Hari Nagar, Opposite Pacca Gharat said: “Frequency of power failure was quite rampant, water supply remained erratic, drains and lanes were always filled with filth and garbage, leveling of the drains wasn’t taken up”. He said that former MLA’s behavior was “arrogant”.
Gourav, a resident of Patel Nagar, Opposite Nitco Lane (Talab-Tillo road) was satisfied with performance of Sat Sharma saying he did whatever he could as he was just an MLA and became Minister only for one and a half months during which doing everything wasn’t possible. However, Anita Sharma of Nitco Lane criticized Sharma for not visiting their locality after victory in the elections. She said power and water supply were fine, but drainage system was very poor.
Vikas Gupta of Colonel Colony also expressed satisfaction with the working of their former MLA, Sat Sharma saying: “We possess all those facilities, which a citizen should have. Everything is alright. It’s good to have the facilities that we need daily”.
Vicky, who runs an `atta chakki’ at Camp Talab-Tillo road, near Jaswant Plaza, said that water and electricity supply were OK but the roads required patch works. The local park also needs up gradation, he asserted.
Ramesh Khullar of Lower Shiv Nagar disclosed that the drains haven’t been repaired ever since they were constructed, which have resulted in over flowing of drainage water. “The road of blacktopped Lane No 17, Shiv Nagar recently is very thin and coming rainy season could wash away the thin lawyer. The sewerage system in this area has totally collapsed,” he said.
Jatinder Kalsi of Ward No. 33, Shiv Nagar told that the work of the park, just adjacent to Shiv Nagar cremation ground has started, but how long it will take to complete the work is a million dollar question. The condition of the lanes and drainage system is not so good and they had approached the concerned agencies, but nothing happened.
Sat Sharma (CA), former MLA, Jammu West Assembly constituency, in an interaction with this correspondent, stated that he had been conducting daily Janata Darbars at his official residence for three hours to meet public and address their issues.
He claimed since 1995, a major chunk of land measuring 20 kanals was encroached by land mafia at Saini Mohalla area of Ward 32 which was released from `Mafia’ after his intervention. The land was handed over to the local budding players for sports activities.
He mentioned that Shamshan Ghats/ Graveyards in the constituency were provided funds from CDF and from Capex budget for their upgradation.
One of the biggest problems that the residents of Jammu West Constituency were facing was the scarcity of fresh drinking water which was provided with sufficient quality and quantity of water to the inhabitants of Jammu West Assembly segment, Sharma added.
In addition to laying of pipes, the ERA had constructed Over Head Tanks (OHT’s) and some tube wells.
Sharma said the second major problem the residents of Jammu West Constituency were facing, was the deplorable conditions of drains. The major projects were undertaken with the help of UEED under “AMRUT” and all the major projects were allotted through departmental procedure and work started.
In a span of 3 years (2015 to 2018), nearly 90 percent roads including lanes and by lanes of Jammu West Assembly Constituency have been macadamized with high quality material providing relief to the people, he said, adding now, the main roads from Kachi Chawni to Janipura, Janipura to Talab-Tillo, Talab-Tillo to Jewel, Rehari Chungi to Paloura etc were fully macadamized. About 10 to 20 percent inner lanes still require up-gradation, which was under process.
To improve the sewerage system in every nook and corner of this Assembly segment, major projects were taken-up in hand so that a proper sewerage system could be put in place; the ex-MLA claimed. ERA has spent an amount of Rs 54.70 crores on this work. In addition amount of Rs 34.55 crores was spent on 30 MLD STP commissioning of which is already made in Bhagwati Nagar.
Nearly 400 Transformers have been upgraded or replaced in this Assembly segment to provide better power connectivity. Also new stations of 10 MVA have been set-up at Manda and Paloura to divide the load of power. A new station of 20 MVA is still under progress in Canal Road. HT and LT lines were also laid so that people could get rid of the problem of low voltage and frequent fluctuations.
Sharma said a high- tech park is going to be constructed with an amount of Rs 84 lacs in Ward No. 39, which includes all modern facilities including open Gym, playing area for children, wide paths, sprinklers, central fountain, benches and other amenities.