People completely disenchanted with Bharat Bhushan

Govind Sharma
333Except a few, majority of the people of Raipur-Domana constituency expressed total dissatisfaction over the performance of local MLA, Bharat Bhushan in last over five and half years, who won the seat in 2008 on BJP ticket defeating his arch rival and Congress candidate Mula Ram with a huge margin of 12, 269 votes by securing 28, 685 votes of total votes polled.
Raipur-Domana constituency comprised 29 Panchayats (23 of Block Bhalwal, 4 of Marh Block and 2 of Satwari Block) and 9 Municipal Corporation Wards including areas like Paloura, Roopnagar, Barnai, Bantalab, etc. A major part of the constituency is water starved rural areas (Kandi areas) including Raipur, Kot Bhalwal, Karwanda, Seri, Tara, Gharota, Jandial, etc.
The team of Daily Excelsior conducted a tour of Raipur-Domana constituency and met cross-sections of the society to evaluate the performance of the sitting MLA of the constituency, Bharat Bhushan Sharma.
Most of the people to whom Excelsior team talked, spoke negative about the MLA. They said the MLA Bharat Bhushan has utterly failed to come up to their expectations, as nothing was done in last five years to provide basic amenities like water, electricity and good roads to the people. Everything is there where it was left by previous MLA, Mula Ram. No repair work of roads was taken up in last five years due to which condition of the roads has deteriorated and regular water and power supply is still a distant dream. The buildings of most of the Government schools are in shambles and students are bound to sit on ground in the absence of sitting benches.
Ravi Singh (37), a resident of Purkhoo and an electrician by profession, while sharing his views said that MLA Bharat Bhushan did nothing in their area in the name of development. The people are still facing 10-15 hours power cuts, the deserving families have not been included in the BPL category while some of the quite well off families managed to register themselves under BPL category in connivance with ration dealers. The link road connecting village Kot to Purkhoo is in deteriorated condition for last many years but no steps were taken to repair that.
Radhey Sham, a retired Army personnel and resident of Raipur-Nardhani said that water and electricity are the main problems of not only our area but also whole kandi belt right from Roopnagar to Gharota. Water usually comes to our home twice or thrice a week that too for few minutes. Same is the case with power supply, as we are usually facing 10-12 hours power cuts and in case of any snag in power supply line or transformer, we have to remain in dark for days together due to negligence of linemen of PDD.
Sharing similar views, Subhash Singh (35), a resident of Seri Tara said there are about 300 houses in our village out of which 40-50 houses did not have even a water connection and people have to travel about half a mile to fetch water from the nearest tubewell. “Moreover, even a single work was not done by MLA in our area from his CDF, so there is no question of voting in his favour again, who has failed to address even our basic issues,” they said
Charan Singh of Gharota said that a canal was made in 1980s, which passes through various villages of this kandi Belt up to Bantalab, but the people of this belt could not take advantage of this, as out of seven motors, which were installed to lift water from river Chenab only two are functional, due to which water could not reach even Gharota, which is few kilometers from river Chenab. But this issue was never highlighted by successive MLAs of the constituency including the present MLA Bharat Bhushan.
While expressing his dissatisfaction over the performance of MLA, Aashu, a Panch of Village Karwanda said no one will vote for him as he has failed to come to the expectations of the people. People of this area did not get any benefit of any of the scheme started by Centre or State whether it is “IAY, MGNREGA or any other.
“You can evaluate the performance of our MLA from our village road, which was never repaired since its construction and now it looks like a seasonal nullah,” said Rattan Lal, an ex-serviceman of Village Kaink near Central Jail, Kot Bhalwal. Our water tanks are lying dry, as water is supplied once or twice a week and to fulfill our water requirements, we have to purchase water from private tankers.
Tarlochan Singh of Pakhian and Ramesh Kumar of Mishriwala also spoke in negative. While the former alleged that the MLA always sanctioned funds for those works, which directly and indirectly benefitted their workers, the latter said that lanes and drains of his area are in worst condition and in last five years no work was done by the MLA.
Param Chand, Panch of Mohalla Badhani of Panchayat Kot however said that he was satisfied with the performance of the MLA as whenever they went to him for any piece of work he never hesitated to help them. Still there is lot to do, as there is no Government school within one kilometer and a primary school in this area is a genuine need of the people. We hope if the Bharat Bhushan gets another term, this demand will also be fulfilled.
However, Rashpal Singh of Pounichak advocated second term for Bharat Bhushan, saying he is a nice leader and listens to the poor, if one goes to him. “He did a lot for our area, so there is no question of voting in favour of another leader, if Bharat Bhushan once again gets ticket from this constituency, ” he added.
When contacted, MLA Bharat Bhushan said there was hue and cry among the people of Kandi belt of Block Bhalwal regarding water shortage till 2008, but since 2008, when I took over as MLA of the constituency, a total of about 40 tubewells were sanctioned, out of which 30 of them are completed and meeting the water demand of the people, while 7-8 are in pipeline. Besides, 200 handpumps were also installed in my five years short extinct.
On inadequate power supply, he said, an MLA gets 10-15 lakh annually for improvement of power supply in his area, which is not sufficient and with this amount hardly two or three new transformers can be installed while the demand is much more. He said that the State Government is responsible for this worst kind of power scenario, as it is only busy in increasing capacity of generating electric power and no attention is being paid to upgrade the power supply lines and the much needed workshop to repair faulty transformers.
Listing his achievements, he said in last five years a total of six high schools in his constituency have been upgraded and a number of new primary schools opened while every year many poor families have been extended financial help under IAY for raising pucca houses. Since 2008, about 80-85 % development works were started, out of which 40-45% have been completed, 30% are underway and 10-15% are in pipeline due to shortage of funds.

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