After the announcement of the election date and schedule, there are frequent appeals made by all the political parties to vote. They say: “A vote gives voice to people's aspirations, so do cast your vote.” But, as a senior citizen and a registered voter, I’m sorry to state that a vote suppresses the voice of people's aspirations.
After the results are declared, all round development becomes a mere slogan in those booth segments. The governments of the day are ready to change the policies and offer concessions to BPL and reserved categories, as well as incentives to small industries etc.
However, when the middle-class seeks any genuine waiver or relaxation, the government usually remains non-responsive even after repeated pleas.
Right before the Telangana state elections, we collated a representation of demands on behalf of all the registered voters before all the main contesting parties. Prior to this, in 2016, we wrote to the chief minister to provide a metered water connection, and the minister for municipal administration promptly responded by stating that they will look into the matter.
Ours is a residential complex – Happy Homes Tower – constructed and occupied in 2000. Water supply infrastructure was made available to the locality in the year 2006, and at that time itself the connection charges payable to the department were found unaffordable by the residents. I wrote about this on The Quint on 7 December 2018.
The residents repeatedly requested the successive governments to give relaxation on connection charges, amounting to several lakhs, and agreed to monthly consumption charges. Neither did the elected representatives fight for the genuine cause, nor did the government respond to the plea. The government till date has not informed us if the relaxation can be given or not. Since the past four years we are facing a water crisis even for our day-to-day needs.
Even after writing to the government before the 2018 Assembly elections and presently before the general election announcement, we have got no answer.
A few days ago, we again wrote to MP Konda Vishweshwar Reddy, who followed the matter closely and wrote to the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation to consider our plea to drill borewells (The Quint is in possession of the letter).
Kya Hua Tera Vaada?
The summer is approaching, and the private water suppliers will shoot up their prices, thereby draining our pockets. We are pursuing our case with the government but now the Model Code of Conduct has become a hurdle, just like it became one last November.
The Consumer Protection Act, 1986, aims to promote and protect the rights and interests of consumers. Unfortunately, municipal services like water connection are currently not covered under this law.
In case of such services, even if citizens use the RTI to get information, it is a tedious process to get justice. Unlike deficiencies in goods, those aggrieved due to deficiencies in essential services don’t look for financial damages but redressal of the complaint, which they expect to be delivered by the authority.
Politicians are held accountable for the decisions they make and policies they contribute. The fact is that you are electing a government to rule the country in a democracy. Since you too are a citizen of your country, you are actually electing your rulers/government by participating in the elections.
When a government/elected representative fails to consider the genuine plea for basic amenities like water or any other alternate arrangement for provision of it, what is use of having a voting right? To the government in my state – kya hua tera vaada?
(All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)