One year later, the City residents are worried, despite having faith in the honesty and good intentions of the HUDA Administrator. They believe that the system has been able compromise his good intentions as well. Friday Gurgaon went to the residents of the Sector 15 part II as part of its series, ‘One Year After’, that takes stock of what was promised, and what has been delivered.
This Sector is one of the best located areas in Gurgaon, with both 'Old' and 'New' Gurgaon easily accessible. It also has easy access to the National Highway 8, and the majority of the residents are retired bureaucrats and defence officials, who are actively working with the RWA to improve the lot of the Sector.
M.C Midha, a former bureaucrat, feels that the anti-encroachment drive launched by HUDA has lost the sting that it carried during the initial days. “There was fear among the encroachers, and a large number of illegal vendors left the Sector-15 markets, as action was being taken. The situation has returned to what it was earlier, as HUDA has let go its steam,” says Midha. As per him, the need of the hour is to institutionalise the mechanism of governance, rather than putting the burden of an entire institution on a single individual like Kumar.
Although the civic situation has improved to some extent, the residents allege that the cleanliness drive has almost come to a standstill. The visits by the garbage van are reducing by the day, the number of sanitation workers on the roads is reducing, the internal roads are in bad shape. Only, they admit, HUDA officialdom is more responsive.
R.P Tayal, former president of the RWA, says that this year the problem of waterlogging, which was a major problem in this Sector due to its low lying surface, has been minimised. The RWA has built a couple of rainwater harvesting structures, and so has HUDA. This has helped the residents greatly.
Tayal also mentions that the road along the Bund has been built as per the demands of the residents, but the work has been left incomplete. “The worst thing that is happening in this area is that the streetlights work in the day, but in the night the system fails! We have made numerous complaints to the concerned HUDA officials but nothing happens,” says Tayal.
The residents are still awaiting the nod for a temple, although they have even offered to purchase the land, provided the government offers them some space. They are also unhappy with the City Transport Corporation, that has failed to connect their Sector with the bus service. “For many years we have petitioned the Administration to bring bus service to our Sector. Despite launching the City Bus Service, Sector-15 has been excluded from the route,” says Tayal.
Another eminent resident of the Sector, Major General S.K Dewan, says that although HUDA has worked to improve the green belts, still a lot needs to be done. He is particularly peeved that HUDA workers sometimes pump out the sewage of the Sector in the Central Park itself.
This makes the Park unusable for at least 4 to 5 days. It is also unhygienic,” says Dewan. He appreciates the initiative taken by a group of individuals who have pooled resources, and improved the lot of the Central Park remarkably.
The majority of the residents want the HUDA Administrator to re-start the drive against encroachments – both in the markets and public spaces. “The Administrator once again should reiterate his resolve against shoddy practices, both by the officials as well as citizenry. The law must be respected,” aver residents.
Residents further opine that one year is too short a period to judge the performance of an organisation that has been steeped in red-tape and corruption for the last several decades. It will take a lot more time and effort for the civic body to anchor its ship and guide the City in the right direction, they opine.
Hritvick Sen / FG
⎫ Presence of PGs and guest houses gives fillip to market, and housing.
⎫ Community Centre gets regular activities from time to time, and the market has a good number of shops, services and banks. This Market is one of the most well- developed markets (just after Sector 14 and Sector 15 Part-II).
What’s not so good
⎦ Condition of roads. Left untended, and no patching done for a long time.
⎦ Construction debris lying in every vacant plot.
⎦ Sanitation condition is going from bad to worse. Number of sanitary staff needs to be increased.
⎦ Electricity infrastructure need to be overhauled as soon as possible.
When Friday Gurgaon covered Haryana Urban Development Authority’s (HUDA) Sector 40 at the beginning of this year, the area was a booming PG/guest house Centre for non-Gurgaon people working in Cyber Park. It still holds true for the sector, only the business is seeing a drop.
The Sector is constantly evolving, turning more plots into homes and rest-houses. Even the market has seen a spruce-up in terms of shops and commercial offerings. But all of it comes to naught when the matter of roads is raised. Not one of the inner sector roads has been left undamaged by the monsoon showers, and the plying of loaded trucks coming into the sector to deliver gravel, sand and cement. As of now, 90 per cent of the roads are uniformly potholed and filled with slushy water. The market roads have been left unscathed only because only there have been no trucks going into that part of the Sector.
“What can we do?” says a HUDA engineer. “When the road specifications are given, they are usually for personal vehicles and light commercial vehicles, which do not weigh over a tonne and half at the heaviest. Imagine a truck standing on the road with a full complement of cement (and probably overloaded). No inner sector road can stand that,” he says. Once the road shows even a bit of cracking, the rains do the rest, tearing up the bitumen into chunks. For now, there is no future project for the rebuilding of HUDA roads in Sector 40. But residents have a different take on the situation. “Our house has just been completed here,” says Saroj, “But the road was already in such a terrible shape. The realtor said that there were plans of repairing it soon, but nothing has happened of late.” She says that if HUDA offers plots and not houses, it must be expected that there would be trucks in the vicinity as long as people have houses to build. “Build the roads accordingly. In fact, I have seen the monsoon do more damage to the roads than the trucks. Why don’t HUDA officials come take a look at Sector 40, and bring the road contractors to book for the mess they have created?” she says.
The second problem, which has mushroomed over time, is that of street lighting. From the last time, when there were a few street-lights glowing in the market and adjoining areas like the police station, almost all the lights have now been damaged or fused. And since nothing has been done about them, there is hardly a functional street-light to be seen in the Sector. The electricity infrastructure is as bad as ever, and possibly touching rock bottom in some areas. A realtor in the market says that, “We have complained a number of times to DHBVN for the problem of power lines hanging too low, and old transformers blowing up from overloading. But they do nothing; and even when they change transformers, they bring in a replacement even older than the one that is broken down,” he laughs cynically. Thank God I live in Sadar, he says.
Sanitation has gone from bad to worse. Coping with just three sweepers and a trolley, the Sector is overloaded in places with concrete refuse and broken bricks. Patches in the road are filled with rubble, as makeshift ‘pothole remover’, since there are only so many empty plots to dump the garbage and the building refuse in.
Overall, Sector 40 is going into a downward spiral unless senior HUDA authorities wake up and take stock of the situation.