Stray dog menace, parking mess and poor maintenance of parks are top of the agenda for the voters in Chandigarh’s Ward No. 12 this municipal election.
After the reorganisation, the ward comprises Sectors 15, 16, 17 and 24. Previously, these sectors came under three different wards. Sector 15 was under Ward 2 and represented by BJP’s Raja Bala Malik. Sectors 16 and 17 were with Ward 3, represented by mayor Ravi Kant Sharma. Sector 24 fell under Ward 4, which elected Sunita Dhawan of the BJP as the councillor.
The ward is residential, commercial and institutional hub of the city. Sector 15 is known for a large number of paying guest accommodations and eateries; Sectors 16 and 24 predominantly have housing for government employees, bureaucrats and judges; and the Sector 17 is the commercial and institutional centre of the city.
In Sector 15, the MC had allotted dedicated space to street vendors a couple of years back. Surender Sharma, a resident who plans to stand as an independent candidate in the MC election, says: “The situation in the ward has worsened in the last five years. The allotment of space to street vendors in the sector has created major problems for residents. But nobody is listening to our problems. We are tired of political parties not delivering.”
In addition to the street vendors, Sector 15 residents complain about the mushrooming of paying guest accommodations, which particularly create parking problems.
Parking woes, say residents in the ward, have increased in the last few years. Dr Madhurima Sharma, a resident of Sector 16 and an educationist, says: “The Sector 16 is managed very well. But the parking problem is getting worse every day particularly near the markets.”
“Within the residential lanes, too, the problem has become so acute that during the night emergency, vehicles cannot pass through. We have sought authorities’ help, but so far nothing has happened,” says Anupam Mehta, a resident of Sector 16.
Strays on the prowl
Even stray dog menace is a problem across the ward. VK Jain, Sector 15 resident, says: “Senior citizens are afraid to venture out in the open as stray dogs are always on the prowl in the streets. The problem has become acuter now with the dogs moving in packs. Even though the MC repeatedly declares that it carrying out sterilisation drives, but we only see an increase in dog population.” In the neighbouring Sectors 16 and 24, too, residents complain of stray dog menace.
Raj Bala Malik, BJP councillor representing Sector 15, says: “The stray dog menace is a pan-city problem. My opposition to settling street vendors in the area led to major reduction in the number of designated vends.”
On the issue of poor park maintenance, Sunita Dhawan, BJP councillor representing Sector 24, says: “I got the RWA formed for proper management of parks. But they couldn’t manage it properly.”
KNOW YOUR WARD
Localities: Sectors 15, 16, 17 and 24
Voters: 17,000 (approx)
Parking has become a major problem and creates severe traffic bottlenecks
Stray dog menace and poor maintenance of parks
Street vendors and encroachments in markets
As there are no residences in Sector 17, it is totally ignored by councillors. We want a nominated councillor from the sector to represent us in the council: Neeraj Bajaj, 63, president, Business Promotion Council, Sector 17
Some issues need immediate attention: Haphazard car parking, stray dog menace, small lanes, and irregular fogging against disease-spreading mosquitoes: Anupam Mehta, 75, social worker, Sector 16 resident
The street vendor problem is a major election issue in the sector. Also, stray dog menace should be solved on priority basis by the new councillor: VK Jain, 74, retired central government employee, Sector 15 resident
The market does not have a toilet which results in the whole place being used as an open lavatory. Also, the garbage is openly dumped near the shops: Rakesh Raman Sharma, 63, businessman, Sector 24 resident