CM’s city remains short on smart facilities

Khattar won from Karnal in 2014, skyrocketing residents’ expectations. Five years later, there’s much disillusionment over delayed projects and unfulfilled assurances, says The Tribune reporter Parveen Arora 

With the nomination of Karnal MLA Manohar Lal Khattar as Chief Minister of Haryana in 2014, the Karnal Assembly segment became CM’s city, raising the expectations of residents to another level.

Khattar had won the seat with a record margin of 63,773 votes by defeating former minister Jai Parkash Gupta. Now, the BJP has set a target of 75 plus seats for the upcoming Assembly elections. With the slogan of “Haryana Ek, Haryanvi Ek”, the CM had made 480 announcements for all five Assembly segments in the district. Of them, 167 projects have been completed, work on 217 is underway and the remaining are yet to take off.

In both urban and rural areas, voters seem pleased with the CM’s clean image, good governance and transparency in jobs, but are unhappy over the slow pace of development works and their poor monitoring.

They are resentful about the nonfulfilment of some major poll promises made by the CM such as upgradation of Karnal Aviation Club to domestic airport, rail connectivity of Karnal with Yamunanagar and Kaithal. Besides, the traffic chaos and delay in laying of storm water pipelines are other reasons for dissatisfaction with the authorities. 

Rajiv Kumar, a social activist and a resident of Sector-13, said: “We are happy that the CM is representing our city in the Haryana Assembly. In 2014, we were elated that our city would have a different look, but five years have elapsed and some major projects announced by the CM are yet to commence.”

He said no doubt the government gave Karnal the smart city tag and included it in the National Capital Region (NCR), but facility like rapid rail and Metro which are expected under the NCR project have not been extended so far to the residents. “Even after the announcements, the pharma park and the central institute of plastic engineering technology are still confined to papers,” he said.

Being the CM’s city, Karnal is the face of the state, but its traffic system exposes its poor management. Most of its chowks are blocked by barricades and the multi-storey parking projects are still a distant dream. Even the projects under the smart city are yet to gain pace.

Sanjay Kumar, a resident of Pundrak, however, had some good words to say about the Khattar government. “This government has provided jobs to qualified people without discrimination on grounds of caste, area and creed,” he said.

Counting the achievements of the government in Karnal segment, Jagmohan Anand, district BJP president, claimed that the long-awaited projects like construction of western bypass, better road connectivity in the city, renovation of Karan Taal and Karan Park, renovation of city gates were completed by the government. “The functioning of Kalpana Chawla Government Medical College began under us,” he added. 

On the other hand, opposition leaders are criticising the CM for ignoring his constituency. Trilochan Singh, senior Congress leader and former chairperson of Haryana Minority Commission, said the CM had failed to develop his constituency. “The crime graph is increasing here while development has taken a back seat. Roads are in a pathetic condition and there is no monitoring of the development works.”

Amandeep Chawla, Karnal block president, JJP, said the CM had failed to fulfil his promises. “Dairies are yet to be shifted out of the city.”

Long-awaited demands

  • Upgrade of the Karnal railway station; rail link with Yamunanagar and Kaithal 
  • NCR facilities like rapid rail, Metro
  • Multi-storey parking, regulation of traffic, shifting of dairies outside the city 
  • Establishment of pharma park, central institute of plastic engineering technology

Legislatorspeak 

We have done development without any discrimination across the state. We have provided jobs on merit basis and also brought transparency in governance. We have checked corruption in the departments — Manohar Lal Khattar, Chief Minister

Oppositionspeak 

The CM has failed to develop his own constituency as no major project has come to Karnal. The crime graph has increased here. Roads are in a pathetic condition and there is no monitoring of the development works — Trilochan Singh, Congress 

Total voters 2,35,498 (1,22,596 males | 1,12,899 females)

Sitting MLA: ML Khattar, BJP

Likely contenders: Sumita Singh, Trilochan Singh, Pankaj Gaba (Congress), Amandeep Chawla (JJP)

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