Did you vote to make the city better? Prabalika M. Borah tries to gauge the mood of people on the voting day
The streets were deserted on Monday. But did the deserted streets mean voters in the queue for the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation elections on Monday? We wouldn't know. But Monday was the D-day for the existing corporators to know if voters fell for their last minute quick-fix trap. From Jubilee Hills to Trimulgherri the potholes miraculously disappeared, so did the paan and gutka stains from the flyovers and road dividers. The dustbins weren't overflowing and the workers in the yellow shirts with GHMC clearly written on them were working over time.
“It's eyewash. The very fact that the potholes were fixed weeks before the elections shows their attitude towards work and the society in which they live in. These leaders lack integrity and vision. I do not expect a miracle from them considering my past experiences,” says Aditya, who works with an MNC in the HiTech City.
Unlike the general election when there was an ad blitz about voting and the right to vote, the GHMC election missed all that drama. Some of the IT companies played along and did not declare a holiday. So, where was the IT crowd that had raised its voice about the need to vote?
“It is easy to go with the flow and work on weekend awareness raising campaigns and finally when you see that we are back to square one, we feel like fools,” says Noel Vinay, a programmer with BOA.
The city must have given us new flyovers and expanded horizons by increasing the city limits, but what about the rowdy traffic? Can anyone tame it? “We are one of the most polluted cities according to a survey and everyday the numbers of cars are increasing in the city, who is to be blamed?
Why is there no check? And when it rains, the status of the city changes from a metro to a Tier III city,” fumes Chaitania, who travels by bus from Vanasthalipuram to Begumpet.
What everyone wants are good un-congested roads. But if corporators still take up the responsibility as a business nothing will ever get better. The contestants should shed their ‘I invest, and therefore expect returns' mindset, he says.
There are others though who still take pride in voting and expecting things to get better, “I was the first one to vote today,” says Manju, a writer.
Ask her about her expectations and she says “The demolition and rebuilding mode in which our city is, needs to be attended to immediately. That will make us feel safe while driving without a fear about something falling on us. But before doing that, the roads should be fixed first. That will save us time, fuel and make us more tolerant,” she added.
Tired of the old tested parties and candidates, voters are thinking of trying newer ones. Trial and error? “Let's say, I am trying the beginner's luck. At least they will not be cynical as the been-there-done-that kind. I am banking on the enthusiasm and initial steam of the beginners. I tried a new party and if I am not satisfied I will try someone new next time, but I won't give up,” says Vijay, an IT consultant.
But all's not that bad. There are a handful who say they are happy with the new look of the city and “the mass transport like the MMTS and the new buses are much better in comparison to other metros like Bangalore and Chennai. I personally feel we can have more parks and lung spaces,” says Obri Thomas who works with HSBC.
We can say we have made the right choice only when we can drive back home without the fear of getting stranded indefinitely in the evening traffic.