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Despite living in one of the central areas of Gurgaon, the residents of Sector 31 are not happy with the state of civic infrastructure, as well as services provided by HUDA – which developed and now manages the area. Locals say that the poor condition of internal roads, which have potholes in many places, has made life quite difficult for them. The perennial issue of waterlogging also weighs heavily on the minds of residents, as they recall the last few monsoons. Colonel Maan Singh, President of the RWA, says that since the Sector is in a slightly low-lying area, water from adjacent colonies and residential areas flows into the Sector 31 Market. The poor state of storm water drainage pipes does not help, as water pools remain in the market for days. Today, one half of the market has drainage.
Despite multiple visits by the HUDA Administrator, and assurances from him, nothing much has changed, asserts Singh. And despite submitting a detailed map of the road to HUDA, marking the potholes and poor stretches, no repair has been undertaken in the last 3 years. The parking lot in the market is also in bad shape. “Officials say an estimate has been prepared and sent to Chandigarh, but they do not know when this work will be taken up,” says Commandant P.S Daber, former General Secretary of the RWA. Daber complains that the parking lot has been auctioned to a commercial entity, which now charges money from the local residents. This, the residents say, violates their rights, since they have paid the development charges – and so should not be charged for parking. The presence of a large number of banks and HUDA offices in the Sector is another reason why there is a lot of traffic to this market; it causes traffic jams on the roads. Singh says that most of the people are parking their cars on the roadsides, to avoid paying parking charges. The two rain water harvesting structures that have been built in the market are also not functioning properly, allege the RWA members. While the residents admit that a contract for desilting has been awarded, the speed is too slow – and so there is no worthwhile result.
The large number of commercial entities, including banks, in the Sector 31 Market have set up large generator units, which violate the pollution norms. “Residents living close to the Market have complained to HUDA officials, but no action is taken. HUDA officials pass the buck to the Pollution department,” says Daber. He also wants HUDA to remove the numerous ‘malba’ dumps, that have become permanent features in the Sector. The lack of public conveniences in the Market also leads to problems for visitors.
The residents are also peeved over the opening of a liquor vend in one of the SCOs. They allege that miscreants create problems for the residents. Col. Maan Singh says that it is surprising that a liquor vend was opened without discussion with the RWA. “This vend should be shifted to a suitable place, so that residents, particularly women, do not feel harassed,” he says.
Girwar Dutt Kaushik, an executive member of the RWA, says that the government needs to take action against the illegal rearing of pigs in the City. It has become a menace for the residents of this Sector. Kaushik claims that more than a thousand pigs can be found roaming in the Sector at a given time, as the nearby HUDA yard, where pipes have been stocked, has become a breeding ground. Another problem raised by Kaushik is the wanton operation of guest houses and PGs, which cause a lot of nuisance for the public.
As no one in HUDA is ready to accept responsibility, Singh has suggested the introduction of a User Work Satisfactory Certificate, which will be a certification by the RWA on whether the contracted work was of good quality or not. “Any contracted work that HUDA gives out needs to be certified by the RWAs and the residents. This is the only way forward, to bring accountability,” he asserts.
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