Bikaner (Rajasthan), Nov 15 (PTI) A rail track that cuts through the main Bikaner market and divides the city between east and west has become an unlikely poll issue with people united on one central point – that the traffic jams must stop and politicians must fulfil their promise to provide an elevated road.
People residing in the area said that the track causes traffic snarls across the market on a daily basis.
"This is a burden in the city. Just because of this track, the development of the entire city remains stalled. The city is divided into two parts -- East and West. There are situations of medical emergencies that affect both sides. When there is a traffic jam in this area, it takes at least an hour to clear the roads," Gehlot told PTI.
Earlier, a resolution was passed during the Assembly budget for a bypass but nothing materialised later, he said while alleging that no party leader has taken any initiative to resolve the issue.
"The political leaders can only indulge in blame games. That's all they do," he added.
The railway track, that separates the east and west regions of Bikaner, is situated at the markets near Kote gate and Sheetala gate. About 30 to 35 trains run on the track every day at an interval of 30 minutes to one hour.
While the incumbent MLA of Bikaner East is BJP's Siddhi Kumari, Congress leader Bulaki Das Kalla has been the MLA from Bikaner West.
“We want this problem to be resolved at the earliest. It’s been four decades we’ve been facing this issue and our demand to find a solution for this hasn’t been met yet,” Bikaner West resident Ganesh Khatri told PTI.
"The citizens of the entire city are tired of this issue. If they had made an elevated road, probably we wouldn't be facing so many problems," he said.
Another Bikaner West resident said, "Traffic jams around this area are a common thing. It happens throughout the day. There is no alternate route even for ambulances." Thirty-year-old Mohammad Ramzan, a labourer who works in the market area, said that most people who work around the area or cross the railway track to commute to their workplaces, step out of their homes at least an hour earlier to reach their destination on time.
Speaking about the issue, the incumbent MLA and Congress candidate from Bikaner West Assembly constituency Bulaki Das Kalla said that if he is voted to power again, the railway track issue will be resolved in seven months by constructing an elevated road.
“I am fighting elections on the basis of developmental work. In the next seven months, if there are no legal hurdles, people will not have to wait at the railway track that's right in the middle of the city," Kalla told PTI.
He further said, "The construction of an underbridge in Rani Bazaar started 2 months ago. Moreover, in other parts of the city, 75 per cent of the roads have been fixed, work on the rest of them is still going on." Rajasthan will go to polls on November 25 to elect the 200-member Assembly.
Jethanand Vyas, the BJP candidate from Bikaner West, lashed out at Congress leader Kalla and alleged that the party has "done nothing to develop the city".
"Bikaner is one of the most prominent cities in Rajasthan and yet it remains underdeveloped. Congress hasn't developed this constituency and because of their negligence, it continues to be a backward region. There are no good colleges in Bikaner West, and the railway track in the middle of the city is a big issue. I vow to resolve all issues of the people of Bikaner," Vyas told PTI.
"I think only one thing can resolve the issue of railway track and it is an elevated road," he said.
He further exuded confidence in defeating Kalla in the upcoming assembly polls and said, "I am sure BJP will win this election with a thumping majority." The state will witness a direct contest between the incumbent Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party on November 25. The result for the same will be declared on December 3. PTI ABU NB NB