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For West Delhi voters, local issues matter most

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Unlike some parts of the country where the Balakot air strike and nationalism dominate the electoral discourse, in West Delhi Lok Sabha seat local issues like sealing, parking woes, water availability and women's safety are on the voters' minds.

The seat comprises 10 assembly segments -- Madipur, Hari Nagar, Vikaspuri, Tilak Nagar, Janakpuri, Rajouri Garden, Uttam Nagar, Dwarka, Matiala and Najafgarh.

In trading hubs of Rajouri Garden, Tilak Nagar, Uttam Nagar and Janakpuri, issues like sealing and impact of demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax are among voters' concerns.

In areas like Matiala and Najafgarh, issues of limited water supply and dependence on water tankers dominate.

Shirin Sakhuja, a resident of Subhash Nagar, said the basic amenities matter more than figuring out who is more nationalistic.

"We are proud of our armed forces but let's be practical, let's get the basics right first. There is not a single area, barring few upper class sectors of Dwarka, where road congestion is not an issue. And surprisingly, it's not on any party's manifesto," she said.

For Vishal Zutshii, a resident of Vikaspuri, safety of locals and parking woes are the top concerns.

"Parking is a huge issue. Anyone can park his or her vehicle anywhere, which at times occupies half of the roads," he said.

"This also leads to incidents of road rage. Police patrolling is never done in our areas and safety of residents remains an issue. Surprisingly, all parties talk about is how well they have done nationally, but not specifically in West Delhi," he said.

"Unauthorised colonies and open drains are a concern too. The situation improved a bit in the last five years, but a lot still needs to be done," he added.

Women's safety is also a major issue in West Delhi, which has the maximum number of women voters at 10.9 lakh.

"Since the roads are not well lit at several points, anybody can park anywhere and traffic rules are not followed due to congestion, incidents of eve-teasing are very common. PCRs can be spotted at few places but there are no women police personnel," said a Hari Nagar resident, Deepti Chaurasia.

"I travel to Gurgaon daily, but the moment I enter Hari Nagar area, the ogling eyes and men following girls are a common sight," she said.

In Palam, lack of community toilets and sewer connections are affecting cleanliness.

"Dwarka is all swanky but you move to neighbourhoods like Manglapuri and Palam, there will be open sewers, garbage dumps and no community toilets. I hope whoever wins addresses this," said Ella Joshi, a resident of Palam.

In the West Delhi constituency, BJP's sitting MP Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma is pitted against Congress's Mahabal Mishra and Balbir Singh Jakhar of the Aam Aadmi Party.

Verma exuded confidence that he would retain the seat.

"Water scarcity has been an issue in West Delhi for years. When I took over, I ensured regular water supply in so many colonies so that the role of tanker mafias could be reduced. People have seen my work, I am confident I will win again and get a chance to further work on the issues in the constituency," Verma told PTI.

Mishra, a former MP from West Delhi, claimed that the people are "keen" on reposing their faith in the Congress.

"I have been an MP from there before, people know my work too. Unauthorised colonies were a big issue, we regularised so many of them. Dwarka developed completely during my tenure. It is for all to see," he said.

Jakhar, a debutante, has promised to ensure maintenance of Delhi Development Authority roads and to take up issues of Central Government Housing Societies in the constituency.

Polling for all seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi will be held on May 12.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, May 11 2019. 16:41 IST
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