Abject failure of development agenda in Haryana

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In October, 2014, BJP came to power in Haryana after gaining majority over Congress on a National Development agenda after PM Modi had swept to power at the Centre.

Unfortunately, during the last four years of BJP rule, the Haryana Govt has miserably failed to meet the expectations of the people with regard to major issues of faster development of infrastructure, law & order and pollution.

Going back on its poll promise made in their election rallies of ensuring 24-hour power supply in the state, the Govt has failed to provide the same. Despite tall promises of ‘Zero outage’ & building ‘smart cities’, the power situation has worsened in the State. This has resulted in Industrial, rural & urban customers using generators to meet power demands thereby leading to huge spike in pollution. Gurgaon has attained the dubious distinction of being the most polluted city in the country.

The Dwarka expressway which promised a dream signal free connectivity to both Gurgaon & Delhi and where thousands of buyers have invested their lifetime savings in buying a house for themselves continues to face multiple hurdles and is nowhere near completion.

Besides structures/ houses falling in the alignment of the expressway, there are high tension power towers which will possibly be removed only by end of 2018. While legal hurdles & lack of pro-activeness on the part of the Government have ensured little progress in building the expressway in the last 11 years, however, why the high tension towers could not be shifted for last 4 years suggests a lack of seriousness & commitment in its approach to build the expressway.

No new metro lines have been built or planned in the state during the last 4 years. Whatever extensions have been carried out were already planned earlier with virtually no contribution of the Govt. While NOIDA & Greater NOIDA authorities have showed exemplary foresight, zeal & alacrity in building a fast & robust metro infrastructure through its partnership with DMRC (extension of Blue line to Sec 62, direct connectivity to International & domestic IGI terminals, connectivity between South Delhi & Noida by Majenta line) or through its new Aqua line (between Noida & Greater Noida), however, the Govt in Haryana is in a state of somnolence.

The most pressing & viable link which was to be established, as of yesterday, was a quick link between Dwarka & Gurgaon thereby providing connectivity with the International Airport & North/ West Delhi. There are thousands of people/ workforce that travels from West Delhi & Dwarka to Udyog Vihar & Cyber city, Gurgaon for work every day during morning & evening peak hours. One can see hundreds of cars which are travelling every day on this route which also adds to NH 8 congestion & pollution! However, there has been no progress whatsoever on this very critical link. Multiple DPRs for this route have been made by DMRC/ RITES & are gathering dust!

The recent announcement of a metro link between HUDA City Centre to Gurgaon railway station would not be viable and would meet the same fate as that of Rapid Metro which is struggling to attain ridership of even 50,000 per day! For any metro link to be successful, it needs to provide connectivity to major points of Udyog Vihar, where thousands of people work and Dwarka!

Most of the infrastructure projects have been outsourced by the Govt to NHAI….thanks to it that some underpasses in Gurgaon have been made. In fact one of them at IFFCO Chowk is ready but has not been commissioned for more than 6 months due to sheer incompetence of the HUDA/MCG in removing a petrol pump which they could have foreseen more than 18 months before when the engineering drawings were made.

On July, 28, 2016, it rained incessantly in Gurgaon. And all hell broke loose. The city was both gridlocked and waterlogged. The jam of nightmarish proportions lasted more than 24 hours — had no equivalent in the city’s history. The people had to go through the ordeal of spending the night on the inundated roads without food and shelter as both the civic & police administration were caught with their pants down!

After a study by the administration, it was decided to widen the Badshahpur drain at Khandsa which is like a ‘chicken’s neck’. The drain was to be completed before 2018 monsoon. While the monsoon has come & gone but the drain is not even 50% complete so far!

All the roads in Gurgaon post monsoon, are in a shambles with either deep potholes & road having disappeared at many places. They were earlier supposed to be repaired by Oct 5 with the deadline being extended to Oct 15. However, there is no visible activity or effort and roads continue to be broken and crying for repairs.

The Govt record on the maintenance of law & order is equally bad!

Just to cite a few examples is when the 63-year-old self-proclaimed godman Rampal was arrested on November 19, 2015, after a two-week tense standoff between his supporters and police. Close to 15,000 of his followers were evacuated from the sprawling premises. Six people lost their lives during the standoff between Rampal’s followers and the police, while more than 200 people were injured in the clashes.

Again, the Jat Reservation agitation was a series of protests that broke out in the state in February 2016. The protesters were demanding inclusion of their caste in the Other Backward Class (OBC) category, which would make them eligible for reservation benefits.

The incident led to the death of around 30 people and left over 500 injured. There were several allegations of rapes on the National Highway during this agitation which are being probed under the supervision of Punjab & Haryana High Court.

The above two major incidents were followed by extensive violence after Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s arrest. Post Special CBI court verdict in August 2017 sentencing Dera Sacha Sauda chief Ram Rahim Singh to 20 years in jail for the rape of his two followers, large-scale violence took place in various districts of the state. As many as 36 people were reported dead, while over 100 were injured in the violence.

In all the above cases, the police proved to be extremely unprofessional and incompetent in allowing these to go out of hand and not handling these agitations sternly and failed to take pro-active measures for controlling the violence. The crime graph in the state especially of heinous crimes like shooting, murders & rapes seems to have spiralled out of control.

The elections are round the corner and in case there is credible opposition, it is anybody’s guess whether BJP would be able to retain power in Haryana!

(The views expressed are the author’s)


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