GHAZIABAD: Vasundhara colony, Ghaziabad, established by UP Housing Board or Avas Evam Vikas Parishad was once idolized as one of the best colonies of the city, thanks to its wide roads, green parks and overall a layout plan (yet to be fully implemented) that had a provision for every civic amenity like community centre, playground cum stadium for youth, college, govt. hospital among others. However, even as these are yet to come up, what is disappointing is to see the complete apathetic attitude of the Avas Vikas and Ghaziabad Nagar Nigam officials to the needs of the colony, claim people.
To start with, although Vasundhara—just 3 kms from Anand Vihar Border in Delhi—is growing in terms of population its infra is already overburdened and people are complaining about the half-hearted planning by Avas Vikas officials and lack of maintenance by the Nagar Nigam. The main arterial road that runs from Sec 19 Vasundhara up to Sector 1 & 2 and connects Hindon Barrage is encroached upon heavily, by vendors and shopkeepers—both legal and illegal alike. Illegal because many houses along this arterial road have been turned into shops doing brisk business in afternoon and evenings, thereby furthering encroachments and leading to severe parking problems, thereby leaving no room for pedestrians to walk.
Single unit houses, especially along the road in Sector 16-17 have been converted to shops, right under the nose of Avas Vikas officials. These illegal shops encourage more vendors to encroach the space outside their establishments by asking rent from them. Then people come here to dine and make purchases from various fruit and vegetable vendors; and all this carries on ‘illegaly’ with either the Nagar Nigam, the Avas Vikas or the police looking the other way.
Although CM Yogi Adityanath has come down hard on encroachments, the local administration does not perhaps want to implement this diktat of CM in Vasundhara and even in neighbouring Vaishali.
To make matters worse, all along the Hindon Canal road in Vasundhara—starting from Vaishali itself—the green belt of reportedly the Irrigation department has been usurped by the land mafia who have built religious structures on them to avoid action. This has been going on for a umber of years but no authority—especially in the previous SP regime never initiated action against them. The whole green belt area, starting from Sector 6 in Vaishali up to Hindon River has illegal constructions—in the form of religious structures.
Highest tax collection yet neglected
Vasundhara residents pointed out that the colony pays the highest amount of tax to the Ghaziabad Nagar Nigam but do not get the facilities in proportion to the amount paid as taxes. The residents also remarked that lack of proper footpaths and encroachments have put the lives of residents to risk, especially during the evenings when these encroachers do brisk business. Absence of streetlights is another problem, said the residents. Besides, with many open spaces still there is always a threat of criminal elements like chain snatchers who can make good their escape due to absence of streetlights on many internal roads of Vasundhara.
The residents also complained that despite being highest tax payers roads in Vasundhara are in a shambles and the UP Govt’s earlier drive to make roads ‘Gaddha Mukt’ was not carried out, at least in Vasundhara.