Chandigarh, March 25

Unlike many other states/UTs where better employment is the highest voters’ priority during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, water and air pollution is the topmost priority for Chandigarh voters, as per the report of the Association for Democratic Reforms Voters’ survey.

Noise pollution and better hospitals are the next two choices of city residents. Voters here have also given below average rating to the government’s performance on these three indexes. They have given less than 2 score out of 5.

According to the overall Chandigarh survey, as many as 45.96 per cent voters have water and air pollution issue as the top priority. Noise pollution is the second priority of 45.57 per cent voters here. As many as 45.15 per cent city voters place better hospitals/primary healthcare centres as the third top preference during these polls. The voters rated government’s performance as 1.65 out of five on water and air pollution, 1.83 on noise pollution and 1.96 on better hospitals/primary healthcare centres out of five.

Reacting on this, Federation of Sectors Welfare Association of Chandigarh (FOSWAC) chairman Baljinder Singh Bittu said: “Health condition and pollution will automatically deteriorate due to open defecation. The authorities have made vendors sit on every road and shop. Imagine, there are 1,500 vendors in Sector 22 and only two toilets. Besides, 10,000 auto-rickshaws and 5,000 cabs have been allowed to run. The pollution will increase. All authorities are themselves responsible for this. The authorities make Smart City plan sitting inside AC rooms. Rather, they should involve people in the process. Also, large scale encroachment has been given an open hand in the city for their own vested interests. In case of dog bite, there are no required injections in dispensaries. The authorities have also ruined this green city by putting tiles everywhere.”

The three main objectives of the survey were to identify the voters’ priorities on specific governance issues, voters’ ratings on the government’s performance on those issues and factors impacting voting behaviour. Among the issues, the voters were asked to list their top five priorities. The survey was conducted from October to December 2018.

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