- Voting for 272 wards will be held on April 23 and counting on April 26, 2017
- With just five days to go for Delhi's civic polls, Dilli-wallas are witnessing some high-voltage campaigning
Sans the open, over-flowing drains and garbage dumps, Delhi's housing colonies wear a festive look. Colourful posters of contestants adorn building walls, strings of tiny party flags in blue, white, saffron and green dance and sway in the air adding that extra bit of colour to the city's skyline.
With just five days to go for Delhi's civic polls, Dilli-wallas are witnessing some high-voltage campaigning given the fact that a lot is at stake for the three major political parties — BJP, Congress and AAP.
The ten years of BJP managing the municipal corporations has left residents of Delhi wanting more. Issues of graft, inefficient delivery system, poor waste management, improper sewage and garbage disposal, broken roads and near zero maintenance, frequent strikes by the sanitation workforce were the major highlights of the decade long tenure of BJP corporators.
Now BJP is trying to make up for lost ground. Besides, betting big on the Modi wave, the party that is already on a winning spree, has promised to work towards a Delhi "as envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi". It has promised meals for Rs 10 and new municipal taxes.
"We do not believe in giving away free stuff like some political parties have promised. That is not what our party believes in. We want people to be self-dependent and capable. Providing solar energy, solar panels to people, schemes and initiatives to help the senior citizen, setting up libraries are some of the things I would like to do for the people of my ward," Preeti Aggarwal, BJP candidate from Ward Number 57, Rohini said.
Congress on the other hand is planning to fight it out on issues like in-situ rehabilitation of slum dwellers, cut in property taxes, unemployment allowance, regularising all temporary sanitation workers within two years and issuing licences to at least five lakh street vendors and elimination of landfill sites.
"There is a lot of developmental work to be done. The main issues are garbage disposal, sanitation, parks, cleaning and maintaining the three water bodies around here. I have been a social worker and I will do all it takes to improve the quality of life," Ved Pal, Congress candidate from Ayanagar said.
AAP has promised no property tax on residential properties, health cover for sanitation workers and a fixed deposit of Rs 50,000 for the girl child.
Promises galore but residents want simple things like proper supply of drinking water, good roads and garbage removed from their roadside and proper sanitation and garbage management.
"Every election every political party makes promises but we continue to live in unlivable conditions. There are garbage pits right next to our homes and open drains run right in front of our residence gates. Roads are all broken and we do not know if any of these will get fixed ever," Neha, a resident of Ghitorni said.
"Give us water and proper roads thats all we want," Pooja Singh, a resident of Ayanagar said.
For most Delhi residents life has been a struggle with municipalities and government departments failing to provide basic amenities like water, power, road, sewage and garbage management. We can just hope that this time things change for the better and Delhi becomes a world class city in days to come.