Ashoka Pahari gets a new power sub-station, residents say need basic civic amenities first

By the side of the very busy Deshbandu Gupta Road in Karol Bagh lies Ashoka Pahari city's oldest unauthorised colony, where families came to settle post-Partition. The area lacks basic facilities such as sewage and water supply. But on Thursday, it got a power grid sub-station.

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, along with Minister for Power Haroon Yusuf and Minister for Transport Ramakant Goswami, laid the foundation stone for the construction of fully automatic 33/11 KV grid sub-station. This will be the 53rd grid by BSES Yamuna Power Limited (BYPL) and is expected to cost Rs 30 crore.

The residents, however, were not too pleased with the new sub-station. "The families here have been here since the past 60 years. There is no sewage, no electricity. The government has regularised many colonies but hasn't cared to notice the sorry state of one of the oldest colonies. Here, the government is spending crores in setting up a grid sub-station, and we demand that they set aside only Rs 25 lakh for the development of our area," president of the residents' welfare association Mukesh Sukija said.

He said the RWA had approached the Delhi Jal Board and Municipal Corporation of Delhi, but no one addressed their problems. "Every authority said this area does not fall under its domain. We wonder whose jurisdiction does this area falls under? The road was built after residents pooled in money. Now, the government is setting up a sub-station here and will lay wires, as a result they will dig up the road built by us" Sukija said.

Other residents said they had also pooled in money to build small drains. "Our house is almost submerged during the monsoon and we don't get water during summer due to bad pipeline. None of the officials paid attention to this," Kulwant Kaur (60) said.

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