The residents of Hyderabad’s Uppal Assembly constituency on Saturday got to meet their candidates for the upcoming polls in the state, share their grievances, and ask constituents what it is that they will do if they come to power for the next five years.
Organised by the Federation of North Eastern Colonies of Sainikpuri (Green Sainikpuri) along with Telugu channel V6 news, the event at Guruswamy Center in West Maredpally, saw the participation of incumbent BJP MLA NVSS Prabhakar, along with the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) candidate Bethi Subhas Reddy and Mahakutami candidate from the TDP, Tulla Veerender Goud.
Residents gathered at the venue pointed out various problems in the constituency, including bad roads and in some cases, no roads, little connectivity by public transportation, drainage, footpaths, road closures by the Army and the lack of public healthcare system.
Residents lamented about the state of the environment they live in -- they stated the conditions of the Kapra Lake and the Jawaharnagar dumpyard, as problems that need to be tackled. The stench from the landfill travels up to 10 km to residents in areas like Kapra, Sainikpuri, Yapral and Neredmet. Residents also said that groundwater up to 10km from the landfill had been contaminated, and sought a solution on how waste will be tackled.
Locals were also worried about the condition of the Kapra Lake and its hyacinth. Vikas Shah, a resident said that while the Supreme Court gave directions to the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation to clean up the Kapra lake, they don’t see the work happening. “There is no timeline. You have to take short and long term measures for the lake to be cleaned. Nitrates are high, there is a stench, and it is a breeding ground for diseases,” he said.
The three candidates promised to find a solution to the condition of roads and road closures in the constituency, increase connectivity of public transportation, find solutions to the Jawaharnagar landfill and Kapra Lake, fix drainage problems, and make the constituency an IT hub.
One common problem that residents from all colonies want resolved is that their elected establish a redressal forum. While Prabhakar and Subhas Reddy said that its something they will look into, Mahakutami candidate Veerender showed his app ‘Vision Uppal’, which he said would allow people to contribute to his manifesto, and if he came to power, and would have a ticketing system to address resident grievances.
However, residents were not too impressed, and said that they expected better from the candidates.
“None of them actually spoke directly about the things we asked. With regard to the redressal forum, only the candidate from the TDP had some vision,” a resident who did not want to be named, said.
However, when it came to the four years of the previous candidate’s tenure, residents did not seem too happy. Uppal is also one of the five seats that the BJP held in the state during the term of the previous Assembly and the party is keen on retaining it.
“We really suffered a lot. We don’t have roads! What century are we living in? We don’t have drainage systems or street lights, garbage is strewn all over the road, there is no GHMC cleaning, we have security problems, we have nothing. The constituency needs immediate attention. They are just trying our patience, I guess,” said Madhavi, a local.
“If you ask us if we are going to re-elect the same person, at least we are going to rethink about it. We are really not happy with the way things went. I don’t think promises were kept. They came halfway and stopped,” she added.
Ganesh, another resident said that they were looking for candidates with a zeal for development.
“Development is there, but the problem is that it’s not integrated. People are not going with a plan. They come, they listen to us. When we give them a representation for one thing, they go do something else. It’s to show that they’ve done something, almost like an election gimmick,” he said.
Click here to follow TNM's coverage of the Telangana Assembly Elections 2018