Election blurs urban-rural divide in New Town

KOLKATA: Homemaker Nandita Kumar, a resident of upscale Elita Garden Vista in New Town, made her rural ballot debut on Monday. Kumar began her day early when she hopped into her chauffer driven sedan, not to head to the cool environs of a close-by mall for some retail remedy but to the new and dusty climes to solid her vote within the panchayat election.
The rural elections have blurred the rural-urban divide in New Town, which boasts of an 18-km, eight-lane expressway slicing thru it lined with dear actual property, universities, IT hubs and automobile showrooms. Close to 3,000 residents in different wallet of New Town went to polling cubicles in rural wallet with the urban sprawl to solid their panchayat votes before heading to their offices.

"It is my duty to cast my vote and it does not matter if it is for Parliament or panchayat," stated Kumar, a homemaker, who braved the blazing solar for over 45 minutes in a queue before she may just solid her vote. "The local candidate and his associates have been of great help to us always. Moreover, voting today has also given me an opportunity to interact with some wonderful people." A 2bhk apartment in Elita Garden Vista costs upwards of Rs 75 lakh.

Many residents found it ironical that they pay for civic facilities of an urban body but vote in rural elections. "I am casting my vote in panchayat elections but I pay property tax according to rates determined by an urban governing body. I do not know if I should be amused or feel angry about it," stated Arun Dutta, a retired state govt employee and a resident of Action Area 1.

Sayanti Mondal, who is pursuing her MSc, came to vote with her father, a senior manager with the Reserve Bank of India. "It was a nice experience to stand in the same queue with residents of near-by villages and vote," stated Sayanti.

The gram panchayats are lowest-level units empowered to manipulate rural spaces, but New Town is not ruled through panchayats. The govt had formed the New Town Kolkata Development Authority in 2007 to seem after the township's civic infrastructure. But since the township does no longer have good enough choice of residents, the federal government has no longer been in a position to make it a municipality. As a consequence, maximum residents have had to vote within the panchayat elections.


Action Area 1, which houses several high-rises and around 25,000 households, is part of the Mahishbatan Number 2 gram panchayat. Many parts of Action Area three fall under Patharghata panchayat space.


In the mid-nineties, the erstwhile Left Front govt had conceptualised the township unfold across 34 mouzas to supply housing to just about 10 lakh households and create industry hubs for attracting investments, especially within the IT sector. The first batch of residents moved into the fledgling township in 2006.


But the pre-poll violence and pictures of lawlessness in districts right through the polls on Monday deterred many in New Town from going to the cubicles.


Election blurs urban-rural divide in New Town Election blurs urban-rural divide in New Town Reviewed by kailash soni on May 15, 2018 Rating: 5
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