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4-10 July 2014

th RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319, Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2012-2014

Vol. 3 No. 46  Pages 24  ` 10

Leading from the front

PRAKHAR PANDEY

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon

T

here is at least one wing of this insensitive and ill-performing Administration that deserves kudos. Till a year ago the roads in Gurgaon were often devoid of policemen, as the majority of the constabulary preferred the cool environs of the Police Stations, and even their homes, much to the chagrin of the citizens and civil society. The lack of 'khaki' presence on the roads and streets had led to a big jump in ‘street crimes’ such as eve-teasing, snatching, road rage and even ‘carjackings’. The Police department also worked more in the traditional sense, as it relied on old, tried and tested methods of crime detection, and often began actions only after crimes had been committed – a la Hindi movies. Access to the Police officials (junior or senior) was limited. There was an apparent lack of cohesion in their working, leading to a situation where the left hand quite did not know what the right was doing. In this context, and in terms of the positive change now visible at the ground level, the appointment of Alok Mittal as Commissioner of Police has been a welcome change for the City. To his credit, while other senior City Administration officials (including earlier Police Chiefs) have usually got bogged down by the system, or not cared at all, leading to the increasedfrustration of the residents, Mittal has quite walked his talk. Perhaps his earlier stint here, in different capacities, has helped him. But that would also apply to many others – who have regrettably ‘failed’. The difference

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon

P

repaid SIM cards, autorickshaws and recharges have become the norm, but have you ever heard of prepaid maintenance charges (being paid to builders) or prepaid power bills (being paid to maintenance agencies) - and that too daily? This is not happening somewhere in the badlands of Iraq but in the heart of Gurgaon, where the residents of Fresco, an upscale apartment complex built by Unitech, are being asked to pay for everything

Hai Ye Gurgaon Meri Jaan The CM comes and goes…and gives dreams of new Metro connections…and a revived Manesar. It is followed now by a plan to introduce electric vehicles – when even setting up a cycle track on one road has become a challenge! When will he – or really we - learn? Hoodaji always tries to keep us hooked on ‘wonderlands’ of 2031 (soon 2041) – so that we do not see the muck around us today. 2 new underpasses are ‘planned’ between Rajiv Chowk and Hero Honda Chowk. Why? Because most commuters are driving on the wrong side of the road! If that is so, this nation will need a million underpasses! Ensuring adherence to rules (or anything civil) is something that even ‘authorities’ find the hardest to implement.

seems to be in his attitude and his intent. Leading from the front, he has made the Police force more accessible and effective. He has undertaken several new initiatives and has been open to suggestions. The residents of the City and even the rural areas say that the best thing about him, and even his senior team, is that he is accessible and listens to their woes. A person in the know says that during the tenure of the prior Police Chief(s) it was difficult to even enter their office premises. Another recent positive that many residents are noticing, and talking about, is the ‘opening’ of permanent nakas (police posts), and the presence of many policemen on the roads, in different parts of the

City. Police Commissioner Alok Mittal, when asked about this, tells Friday Gurgaon that greater police presence on the ground sends a message to both the residents and criminals that the Police are working 24 hours to ensure the safety and security of the City-folk. “We have also seen that the incidents of vehicle theft, snatchings, eve-teasings and various street level crimes have reduced since the 'nakas' have been made operational,” says Mittal. Such initiatives have been well backed by internal policies and actions. For example, there is ‘zero tolerance’ towards policemen caught taking bribes. Mittal says that Contd on p 6 

After making many housing announcements targeted at the EWS population, this time the State has ‘promised’ 54,000 ‘affordable’ apartments spread over 7 upcoming sectors for the ‘middle class’. The area of the apartments would be 300 to 545 sq. ft. (2 bedroom), at a density of 900 people (180 apartments) per acre, and the cost would be Rs 4,000 per sq. ft. Meanwhile, we’ve yet to see the standing (for years) EWS apartments even being allocated. There is another ‘election’ boost for builders: now the State govt. is proposing to make it easier for them to take over revenue roads, panchayat roads and waterways. This is truly a govt. for the builders, (made) by the builders and (comprised) of the builders.

'Posh' Dreams, Harsh Reality in advance! The residents also claim that they are being charged a much higher rate for power than the approved electricity rates of DHBVN (which bills just Unitech in bulk, and Unitech bills the residents), and the backup power is supplied at a prohibitive unit price Rs 18.39 – which itself is in violation of the law. Virendra Kumar Sharma, President of Fresco Apartment Owners Association, says that

(prepaid) meters had been installed by the builder for power, and the maintenance agency has cleverly added the maintenance charge into the same ‘system’, as a result of which the residents have to (pre)pay even for the maintenance on a daily basis. To add insult to injury, the residents allege that they are being charged money for services that are hardly delivered; poor upkeep has left the apartment complex

is a poor condition. However, the most disturbing issue is the complete lack of safety! Sharma says that there is a continuous leakage of LPG gas and the lifts are poorly maintained (presumably because the lift maintenance charges have not been paid). Usha Jalan, a resident, says that the gas can be smelt in all the lobbies of the building, and this could lead to a serious accident. “Are the government and

maintenance agencies waiting for a major accident to happen?” she asks, adding that the problem is complicated by the fact that the firefighting equipment is in bad shape. Another resident, DV Sharma, despairs that while they were sold the promise of a posh residential complex, the facilities are fairly pathetic. Gurnam Singh, a resident, says that his family members were recently trapped inside a lift, and such incidents have taken place often. “Luckily the guard was present Contd on p 7 

Friday gurgaon 4 10 july 2014  

..be the change you want to see

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