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Posted at: Apr 11, 2016, 12:30 AM; last updated: Apr 11, 2016, 12:30 AM (IST)

Rangad has done precious little: Manmohan Mall

Rangad has done precious little: Manmohan Mall
An interview with Manmohan Singh Mall, president, Mussoorie Municipal Council, who fought the last Assembly elections against Mahaveer Rangard.

Tribune News Service

Mussoorie, April 10

Manmohan Singh Mall is irked at the alleged lackadaisical approach of BJP legislator from Dhanaulti Mahaveer Singh Rangad. In an interview with the Tribune, Manmohan Mall outlines the adverse effects of the neglect of the Dhanaulti Assembly constituency that has lagged behind in development. Manmohan Mall, president of the Mussoorie Municipal Council, is an arch rival of Rangad. He had fought the last Assembly elections unsuccessfully against Rangad on the Congress ticket from Dhanaulti. There is speculation that he may contest the next Assembly elections from the same seat.

Dhanaulti with its eco-park developed by the Forest Department has become an important tourist destination. But the place lacks basic amenities such as drinking water and tidy public toilets. Do you think local MLA Mahaveer Singh Rangad is responsible for such poor conditions in a serene tourist place?

Dhanaulti with its rhododendron, deodar and oak trees has always been a unique tourist destination where high-end tourists who avoid traffic of Mussoorie have preferred to visit all round the year. In order to cater to such tourists, safeguard the environment and provide employment to the locals, the Forest Department set up the eco-park with the support of local people. It has become an important source of livelihood for the area. But Dhanaulti is facing a severe water shortage that has made the lives of local people difficult. People do not have water to drink and are forced to bring it in utensils and drums on mules. The water shortage has also affected maintenance of public toilets and other basic amenities, giving a bad impression to tourists. BJP legislator Mahaveer Rangad has failed to address the issue and ensure regular water supply in Dhanaulti.

Do you think MLA Mahaveer Rangad has failed to address the problems of the people of Dhanaulti?

Well, if I am asked to rank Mahaveer Rangad's performance, I will say he has utterly failed to fulfil the aspirations of the people of Dhanaulti who are facing a water crisis. Dhanaulti is known for its potatoes, apples and herbs but Rangad has failed to promote it as a tourist place during his four-year tenure as MLA. There is a remote possibility of his doing anything now. Rangad has failed to get any drinking water project  sanctioned for Dhanaulti.

Mahaveer Rangad belongs to the opposition BJP. How do you think he could have helped in formulating projects for the Dhanaulti Assembly constituency? 

It is true that he was not on the government side but still he could have performed his duty as MLA. Dhanaulti has several beautiful spots, namely deodar forests of Deval Sari and Moriana Top, which can be developed as international tourist destinations. These can be an alternative to Mussoorie and Nag Tibba situated at around 10,000 feet and can become major trekking destinations. Organic potatoes and apple farms can be another source of earning revenue if promoted honestly. The MLA has failed to submit any such proposal to the state government and the Central government as well where his party BJP is in power. The Buraskahanda area is known for a high yield of rhododendron (that has been declared state tree) but the MLA has failed to bring any rhododendron (burans) juice processing unit in the region. Rangard should come out with a paper highlighting his achievements. I am sure there is none.

Do you think the present political crisis has affected the working of the MLAs in the state? 

Yes, the pace of development ushered in by former Chief Minister Harish Rawat has been disrupted to a large extent. The BJP MLAs along with nine Congress rebels are to be blamed for the situation. The BJP legislators have sinned against the people of the state by toppling an elected government. And still worse, the BJP after toppling the government is unable to form one of its own. It will fail to form the government in future too.

The BJP legislators, who should have been working for the betterment of the people in their constituencies, are busy toppling the Congress-led government in the state. In the process, they have neglected their constituencies. While the state has plunged into a political crisis, the BJP legislators have been touring Rajasthan and Delhi. People are closely watching political developments and will not forgive the BJP for the crisis it has forced on the state and people.

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