Bhucho Mandi: Sub-division demand still unmet

Bhucho Mandi: Sub-division demand still unmet

Sameer Singh

The reserved constituency, which has the Scheduled Caste (SC) population in majority, comprises two blocks — Goniana Mandi and Bhucho Mandi — and an equal number of nagar panchayats.

The demand for sub-division status to Nathana sub-tehsil has been pending for decades. Residents of over two dozen villages have to travel 60 km to Bathinda for all their administrative and educational needs.

Gurpreet Singh, a resident of Goniana, said: “Although a dozen link roads have been built in the past five years, the existing ones, 15 to 17 in number, are in a dilapidated condition. No attention has been given to the demand for carpeting the kutcha stretch of 6-7 km between Mehma Sarja and Deon (Muktsar road) villages. Residents of around 37 villages have to take a long route to reach AIIMS, Bathinda.”

“The demand to augment medical infrastructure at the dispensary at Mehma Sawai village and convert it into a PHC (Primary Health Centre) has been pending for years. Residents of 12 villages have to visit the Community Health Centre, Goniana,” said Harmail Singh.

Balkar Singh, a resident of Goniana Mandi said, “Drug menace is quite rampant in the constituency in the absence of police inaction. Also, the Agriculture Department needs to encourage farmers to come out of the vicious cycle of wheat-paddy by way of diversification.” Maingal Singh, another resident, said: “There’s no proper garbage disposal system. Water ponds have not been cleaned for years.”

Past trend

Until 2012 polls, it was known as Nathana constituency. In 2012 and 2007, Cong’s Ajaib Singh Bhatti won from this reserved segment. In 2002, SAD’s Gura Singh bagged the seat. In 2017, Cong’s Pritam Singh Kotbhai won by just 645 votes.

Electorate strength

Total voters 1,81,598
Male 95,370
Female 86,225
Third gender 3

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