Ground Realities: Where Are Bhubaneswar MLAs?
As problems abound in numerous forms in the society, the netas fight elections delivering false promises on the dais only to get the maximum from the vote banks in the electorate. Sadly, disillusioned masses, helplessly watching the rot prevailing in the political scenario and most of the times without any alternatives for better, cast their votes in favour of such unscrupulous people. The result: the same leaders refuse to recognize the faces of the voters, while travelling in air-conditioned vehicles with tight security.
Till the next election, either they are busy in raking in moolah through under-hand means or uplifting their own party’s interests. The same does ring true in case of ruling MLAs, who spend time comfortably in their bungalows without giving a damn for the innumerable problems of temple city.
At present, Bhubaneswar and its adjacent areas have four MLAs Shri Bhagirathi (Mitu) Badajena [Bhubaneswar North (Uttar)], Shri Bijaya Kumar Mohanty [Bhubaneswar Central (Madhya)], Shri Ashok Chandra Panda [Ekamra-Bhubaneswar] and Dr. Arabinda Dhali [Jayadev]. A thorough visit to their constituencies can convince anyone that there is no development in any area. People vent their fury through repeated complaints that as monsoon has reached the state and heavy downpour will merge the lanes and by-lanes, hardly the worsening conditions of roads, heaps of garbage, parking, sewerage and drainage draw the attention of the MLAs of Bhubaneswar. The city has got many low lands, where houses get sub-merged during rains in monsoon. The condition of the urban people remain worse that of the villagers in rural areas.
For instance, the acute shortage of parking slots in areas like rental colony, old town, and Chandrasekharpur is being felt more as people find it tough to wade through the vehicles, parked in disorganized ways. “Due to market, people park their vehicles on the roads that make the office goers condition worst during rush hours. Same is also felt, while coming back from office”-says a Arundhati Jena, a resident of BDA of Chandrasekharpur. It hardly attracts the attention of our present MLAs of Bhubaneswar.
A larger percentage from the populace of Bhubaneswar belongs to other parts of Odisha and even from outside and apparently, they do not show any interest to take their problems to the councillors of the city. “The MLAs never visit our area. We see them only on the occasions of public and school function. We are heavily suffering due to the conditions of poor sanitation and damaged roads during monsoon every year and summer gets us acute water problem”-says a Ajay Dash, a resident of Bomikhal, Bhubaneswar.
As the Bhubaneswar MLAS are hardly available, the municipal authorities also do not take note of the problems. The pathetic condition in Unit-1 market remains most unhygienic resulting in malaria and other diseases due to mosquito bites. The streets remain in darkness and stray dogs forever create menace after the sunset. Despite repeated complaining, no one pays heed to the problems created by stray animals in darkness.
Although luxury apartments are being built on war-scale by private builders neither authorities nor the MLAs bother about provide basic amenities to those areas. Places like Ghatikia, Pokhariput, Raghunathpur, Patia, Hanspal, Bomikhal, Sundarpada, Old Town and Balianta require a lot of improvement.
“The Puri Canal Road in Hanspal is in a mess. Due to the plying of heavy vehicles on this road, a lot of potholes and pits have been created. During Monsoon, the road has become dangerous for the commuters, but the government is silent. Also, in the absence of street lights, anti-social elements are ruling the roost in the area, making it difficult for us to travel in the night hours. It’s high time our MLA takes note of the situation and does something to improve the living conditions of people in the area. Or else, I fear none of us will cast their ballot in the next polls,” says Dr. Dillip Mishra, a resident of Metro Satellite City, Phase I, which has more than 200 Duplexes.
It’s an irony that our MLAs just care about their own well being and indulge in placating their bosses to secure their political career. But, they tend to forget that it is the people who can make or break them. The common people cannot be taken for granted anymore. Unless the elected representatives visit each and every area to take stock of the situation and hear the grievances of the residents, they won’t get a second chance to smile in the next election. Hopefully, good sense will prevail and we will see better responses from our MLAs in the coming days.
By Srikant Mohanty with inputs from Chinmayee Dash and Nidhi Sinha.