Delhi elections 2024: Beyond pockets of affluence, South Delhi voters seek civic overhaul

- May 25, 2024
| By : Saurav Gupta |

Hailing from diverse backgrounds, residents point to lack of basic facilities for the growing population

Authorities have failed to regularise unauthorised colonies and provide basic amenities

Delhi elections 2024: South Delhi, often perceived as a posh area, paints a more diverse picture on closer inspection. Beyond the upscale neighbourhoods, it comprises urban villages, unauthorised colonies, slums, resettlement areas, and rural stretches near the Haryana border.

The electoral contest between BJP’s Ramvir Singh Bidhuri and AAP’s Sahiram Pahalwan is poised to revolve around multifaceted issues.

Delhi Elections 2024

Among the 22.8 lakh voters, there’s a diverse mix: 31.7% are OBCs, 16.6% SCs, 8.9% Gujjars, 7.7% Brahmins, and 7% Muslims. Their concerns are common and range from road congestion and water supply to infrastructure development, government subsidies, and protection from demolitions.

In Vasant Kunj, inadequate infrastructure and traffic congestion are major grievances of the people.

Delhi Elections 2024

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Raghvendra Tiwari, a resident, said that traffic conditions are worse in the area.

“It’s like we step out of the house only to get stuck in jams,” said Tiwari.

Residents of Chhatarpur are facing the same problem.

Delhi Elections 2024

Sonu Koushik, who has been living in Saket for 40 years, said that there is a lack of basic infrastructure to accommodate the area’s growing population.

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“For years, both AAP and BJP had promised to regularise the unauthorised colonies along with providing the basic amenities to people residing in JJ clusters in South. However, not much had been done by either of the political parties,” said Abhijit Bhasin, a resident of JJ colony, Sangam Vihar.

Abhinav, a resident of Mehrauli village, said that AAP has done a lot of things for the people of the national capital such as repairing roads and providing free electricity and free bus rides. Other residents of the area lauded the work done by the BJP in the constituency. “Jitega bhai jitega, Modi hi jitega (Modi will win),” said Ram Singh, a vegetable vendor in the village.

On the other hand, Jats and Poorvanchali workers in Mehrauli village feel neglected by the government. They feel that promises made to them at the time of previous elections remain unfulfilled.

Delhi Elections 2024

“Problems like parking in the area and lack of other civic amenities have been a major roadblock for the residents,” said Rahul Batra.

In the slums of Kalkaji and Tughlaqabad, people hailed the work done by AAP including free electricity, education among other things. In high-rise apartments like Himgiri, concerns shifted to environmental problems such as air pollution. Abhishek Singh said that there is a need for better measures to tackle pollution despite acknowledging the city’s developmental strides.