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3-9 April 2015

Vol. 4 No. 33  Pages 16  ` 10

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319, Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2014-2017

Rohtak-Rewari DMU-linked prakhar PANDEY

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon

R

ohtak and Rewari, key towns of Haryana, though close to each other and to the Capital geographically, are quite distant otherwise. They are in different agricultural zones and are peopled by different communities, which have fairly divergent claims on the State’s politics and resources. A decade of Congress rule under CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda has modernised his ‘home town’ Rohtak, while Rewari still seems caught up in medieval times. Of course the erstwhile CM had to pay heavily for his gross neglect of the rest of Haryana, with the Congress being wiped out in many parts of the State in the recent elections. Ironically, the new DMU rail service between Rohtak and Rewari (the first CNG DMU in the country) has brought the two towns closer, but has also opened the eyes of the people of South Haryana to the vast differences in development between the two towns. They had seen this in Gurgaon, but that was always taken to be a unique exception since the days Maruti was set up. A Friday Gurgaon team travelled from Rohtak to Rewari on the daily passenger train that now connects both the cities and spoke to people about their experiences and aspirations, and how State governments have contributed/are contributing to development - or the lack of it. Rajinder, an auto driver in Rohtak who took us around the town, pointed to various buildings, parks and the industrial complex that have come up in the recent decade of Congress rule. The roads are wide and clean. There are only a few open drains, as the sewage system has been built underground. We are also told that though there is some waterlogging during the monsoon, it is not serious. The traffic lights function, and policemen are present at

every chowk. We hardly saw any garbage strewn on the road. Local shopkeepers near the railway station said that the government has a planned garbage collection system, which works pretty well. The Rewari-based people on the DMU termed the Congress rule as something akin to a sponge, which absorbed the wealth and taxes from across the State and delivered that in Rohtak - like the British did in their time. Arun Kumar, a daily passenger, said that even today in Rewari there are no proper medical facilities, no medical college and the government hospital is as good as non-existent. “Those who can afford to, rush the patients to Gurgaon’s private hospitals, while the others go to Rohtak,” said Kumar. This new train will now help them reach Rohtak with ease, and at a low cost the local ticket is thankfully just Rupees twenty-five. Passengers said that the better health and educational facilities in Rohtak attract many from Rewari and even from across Suuth Haryana. Nitin Jangra, who is doing B. Tech. from MDU, Rohtak and belongs to Gokalgarh near Rewari, is delighted by the rail service, as earlier he had to

spend Rupees one hundred daily in rickety buses, which were unsafe and also remained stuck in jams on potholed roads. There are also a large number of office goers who are commuting on the daily train, and they appreciated the opening up of this new route. “I work in a government office in Rohtak and commuting daily was a difficult job, but now the things have improved. I am able to save money and also give more time to family,” he said. But, like many others, he rued the total lack of development in Rewari, over decades. Rohtak residents of course agreed that Congress rule has transformed Rohtak city, district and the adjoining

areas into a development hub. Vijay Rathi, a resident of a village near the town, said that the proximity of Rohtak to Delhi was an important reason for its development. “The CM helped in developing the entire State, not just Rohtak. In South Haryana, Gurgaon has grown,” he asserted. However, anyone would take that comment with more than a pinch of salt. Rohtak is full of new buildings and institutions, such as Industrial Model Township (IMT), Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Footwear Design & Development Institute (FDDI), AIIMS (at PGI), Sports Complex,

Freedom Fighter’s Museum and a Maruti Driving School many aided by the State. Most of these are world class in design and construction. “If it was not for the CM, then so many institutions and organisations would not have chosen this town,” said Virender Yadav, a Rewari resident. Yadav alleged that the Congress government was even bent on taking the Defence University (coming up in South Haryana) to somewhere near Rohtak. This matter was fought at the highest levels, and it was only after Gurgaon MP and Rewari scion Rao Inderjit Singh issued a threat that the CM backed off, alleged Yadav. A government official who did not want to tell his name, said that all new buildings in Rohtak were designed by the best architects in the country. Maharishi Dayanand University (MDU) in Rohtak had already given the town a rich legacy in education, and the CM ensured that it got several other educational institutions; those promoted by the Jat Educational Trust are also flourishing here. Students from all over Haryana, including Rewari and even Gurgaon, make a beeline every year to MDU and the other institutions. In comparison, Rewari has only a few good private schools and colleges, and a Defence University and a Sainik School are in the pipeline. The DMU train is filled with students every day. The commuters agreed that it would need another politician like Hooda to change the face of Rewari and South Haryana, just as earlier the Chautalas had done for their areas and Bhajan Lal had done for Sirsa. Of course today Rohtak has dwarfed them all. “We had great hopes from the BJP. We had hoped that a leader from this region would be made the CM,” said Devender Yadav. The people in Rewari and other parts of South Haryana voted almost en masse for the BJP in the hope that the discrimination with their region would end and they would also witness Contd. on p 4  See Back Page also

Friday gurgaon 3 9 april, 2015  

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