Residents of 550 villages lament as LS aspirants miss rural issues in discourse : The Tribune India

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Residents of 550 villages lament as LS aspirants miss rural issues in discourse

Residents of 550 villages lament as LS aspirants miss rural issues in discourse

A bridge on a drain without any safety grill at a village in Amritsar district. Tribune photo



Tribune News Service

Manmeet Singh Gill

Amritsar, May 19

When it comes to election campaign, every candidate in the fray is promising to convert Amritsar into a world- class city with state of the art facilities, but residents of at least 550 villages in the Lok Sabha (LS) constituency, feel left out as they complain that their concerns seldom find mention in discourse of political parties and their candidates.

Nearly 60 per cent of the population of the Amritsar Lok Sabha constituency lives in the rural areas, but the prime focus of political parties and candidates is the city and its residents, lament village residents. They complain of poor road connectivity, health facilities, schools and even power supply.

Residents said earlier, specialist doctors were available at the primary health centres and community health centres in the rural areas, but they were shifted to the city. “Presently, most Mohalla Clinics have Community Health Officers some of whom are not even MBBS. In case of an emergency, people have to travel to the city for treatment,” said Raman Kumar, a resident of Daoke village in the border belt.

“It may sound weird to city dwellers, but none of the villages have waste collection system. Dumps of waste can be seen alongside roads in almost every village,” Jasveer Singh complained, while adding that none of the political parties or candidates were even concerned about the issue.

A resident of Mohawa village Gursevak Singh said, “Seven school children had died in September 2016 after a school bus fell in a drain. Even after eight years, over two dozen bridges on the drain are without proper railings. None of the candidates has even promised to install railings.” He said the condition of roads in most areas was poor.

The rural residents said a state of the art railway station, better air connectivity and development of tourist facilities find space in discourse of political parties, but the problems in villages were often ignored.

“No doubt, better air connectivity and increase in flow of tourists is good for city’s economy, but why there is silence over issues such as depleting water table. Presently, people are forced to dig tubewells upto 400 feet deep. The cost of installing one tubewell is at least Rs 2 lakh. Why are they promising canal water for agricultural fields,” said another village resident.

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The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

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