Resentment exists in some pockets
JAMMU: People of most of the areas of Marh constituency had all praise for their previous MLA, Choudhary Sukhnandan Kumar, claiming that tremendous development has been done by him in last over three years and he had left no village without road and no mohalla without lanes and drains. However, inhabitants of some pockets of the Constituency expressed some resentment over poor health, transport and other basic facilities.
A large number of people to which Excelsior team met appreciated the work done by Sukhnandan. They said there is hardly any lane and road, which has not been blacktopped or cemented. In last three years, they said, Sukhnandan has left no stone unturned to make the constituency a model one. However, people belonging to Lahorichak, Puran De Kothe and Phallain Mandal expressed resentment against the ex-MLA alleging that development works have been done in selected areas of the constituency.
Marh Constituency which is spread over a large area comprising 26 panchayats (20 of Marh constituency and 6 of Satwari) and some areas of Ward no 61 (Patta) with a strength of 68,870 electors, was with Sukhnandan Kumar since 2008 when he defeated the then MLA, Ajay Kumar Sadhotra, by 6,581 votes. His (Sukhnandan) second term started after 2014 Assembly elections, when he again defeated his arch rival Ajay Sadhotra (NC) by 11612 votes.
Interacting with Excelsior team, Sharvan Kumar of Patyalichak said that for last 60 years, two internal roads of their area were ‘kutcha’ but last year both the roads were blacktopped when they approached the ex-MLA. However, he said that the cremation ground of the area has no basic facilities like proper sheds, water and toilet facility and even boundary fencing has not been done. He also lamented that in 4 kilometre radius of the area, there is not even a dispensary.
Subhash Manhas of Kantowala lauded the ex-MLA for his work in last five years. “Sukhnandan has left no stone unturned to redress the grievances of the people. Roads, lanes and drains everything is up to the mark; farmers are getting free subsidized seeds and fertilizers timely. What else we can expect from an MLA! “, he added.
He further said that Chanochak-Bawetalab road which is approximately 4-5 kilometres in length was totally ‘kutcha’ and one could not walk on this road, particularly in monsoon season, when it used to become slippery but it was blacktopped about eight months back with the initiative of Sukhnandan and people living along this road have now taken a sigh of relief.
Subhash Chander of Kalyanpur also spoke in affirmative when asked about the performance of the ex-MLA in last five years. Sukhnandan never disappointed us whenever we went to him for any help, he said, adding the people of this area are fully satisfied with his performance. He said today every Mohalla has concrete lanes and drains, and the most significant road i.e. from Mishriwala to Bawa Jitto shrine was completely blacktopped over six months back with the initiative of ex-MLA whereas earlier patch up work was used to be done ahead of Jhiri Mela.
However, Chaman Lal of Lahorichak criticized Sukhnandan for lack of health facilities in the area. He said there is no dispensary in 3 kilometre of radius. He said that there is a Primary Health Centre at Gho which is 4 km from here while SDH Marh is at a distance of 6 km.
Balvinder Singh, a shopkeeper of Anand Nagar (Tommal) appreciated Sukhnandan for his work. He said that people of this area are happy with Sukhnandan, as they are getting everything-good roads, lanes and drains, regular water and power supply and timely supply of ration, which a person needs to live a good life. He said no lane has been left where tiles have not been laid except the disputed ones.
Slamming the ex-MLA for ignoring his area, Malkeet Singh Chib of Puran De Kothe said development is not limited to only constructing lanes and drains, other basic facilities also needed to live a good life. “Pointing towards the cremation ground of the area, he said, there is no water and toilet facility, no bathing ghats and no tins on the cremation shed. A water hand pump is there but it has gone dry while bathing ghat constructed near ‘Sua’ (canal) has been washed away in flood. A PHC is there but it is closed after 5 pm and on Sundays”, he added.
Gourav Sharma of Mandaal said that main road to Phallain Mandal had been blacktopped but the internal roads in this belt of Marh constituency are full of potholes and needs immediate blacktopping. He further regretted that there is no proper transport facility and after 6 PM, no public vehicle is available to reach Jammu despite the fact that this area is hardly 12-15 kilometers from Jammu city.
Showering praise on the senior BJP leader, Ashwani Kumar of Swanjana said Sukhnandan has initiated many development works in our area and people of this area are very happy with him as they are getting everything from good lanes and drains to subsidized seeds, fertilizers, etc. He said only problem the people of this belt are facing, is bad condition of internal roads.
Hailing the work done by Sukhnandan in Nai Basti area, Ashok Sharma, an ex-serviceman of the border village said that every house in the village has a toilet today and concrete lanes have been made everywhere.
Expressing resentment over the poor condition of 300 m stretch of road from Gajansoo Bus Stand to Saharanpur side, Yograj Sharma of Gajansoo said that the road is full of pot holes and due to water logging on the road, pedestrians face difficulties while travelling on the road.
Harminder Singh and Vikrant Singh of Gole Gujral appreciated the works initiated by Sukhnandan in last over three years. They said that there is everything— good roads, tiled lanes and cemented drains, good health facilities, proper water supply, etc in their area and they has no complaint with the ex-MLA.
When contacted, the ex-MLA Sukhnandan said in last over three years, a lot of development works had been done in every part of his constituency and the works speak itself when one someone visits his constituency; there is no need to beat drums of development.
He said in last three years, his primary focus was on improving road network in his constituency and in this period, he has blacktopped most of the roads in his constituency. Sukhnandan said in his last stint, he got sanctioned about projects worth Rs 100 crore for his constituency while most of them have been completed and work on few is still underway.
Describing his achievements in last over three years, the ex-MLA said he got approved a degree college in his constituency at Gajansoo and its construction work is underway. Moreover, many Government schools have been upgraded in this period. “In every three kilometer, there is a High School and in every five kilometre there is a Higher Secondary School in his constituency”, he added.
Sukhnandan said farmer community of his constituency was suffering in the absence of procurement centres to sell their produce, but in his last two stints as MLA, he got opened seven procurement centres in Marh constituency, where farmers are getting higher prices for their produce.