Large-scale encroachments, traffic snarls, lack of parking space and faulty drainage system are other major problems faced by the residents of the East Delhi constituency.

The wholesale cloth market, said to be Asia's biggest, has compounded problems for the residents as it has been putting pressure on existing infrastructure, besides causing heavy traffic jams on major roads.

Residents dread monsoon season as even a short spell of rain results in flooding of the lanes in colonies as well as major roads.

They complain that despite sewer lines being laid over 10 years ago, these were never made functional. Besides that, there is a growing resentment among voters over scarcity of water supply in the area. Areas like Seelampur and Welcome are the worst affected.

"The civic facilities including water supply and drainage system are in shambles. The condition in Seelampur area is pathetic. Encroachment and illegal constructions in recent past have gone up manifold in the area," said Saheb Singh of Kanti Nagar.

Traders, who are the major constituents of the area, said infrastructure growth has not been up to their expectations.

Gandhi Nagar has been with Congress since 1998 when Singh contesting for the first time defeated the BJP candidate by a huge margin and became the youngest MLA at the age of 28.

He retained the seat in the subsequent assembly elections in 2003 and 2008. In the last election, Singh defeated BJP's Kamal Jain with a margin of 32,000 votes. This time, 13 candidates are in the fray.

Although Singh has a big influence on traders there is a growing resentment among middle class voters over inflation and deteriorating infrastructure in the area.

"Those facilities which are required for businessmen are not there. Whatever development has taken place in the area, it is because of their own efforts. Water and non-functional drainage are major issues," said Gulshan Bhatia, president of Gandhi Nagar Vyapar Mandal.

Traders said there was a proposal to build a multi-level parking in the area. Even work was started but for the past one-and-half years, the project is in limbo.

Another major issue, residents said, is lack of proper public transport facility in the area.

"Earlier, there was a direct bus to Delhi University, but it has been stopped now. Students face a lot of trouble now commuting to colleges," said Sanjeev Kumar, a resident.

Talking about the issues of traders in the area, Anil Kumar Vajpeyi, who is contesting on Aam Aadmi Party ticket, claimed there is not a single toilet in Gandhi Nagar market.

"Arvinder Singh also held Education minister's post but no new school was opened in the area. There is total apathy from Singh's side for his constituency," Vajpeyi added.

Naresh Chand Jain, a trader from Gandhi Nagar, said, "Singh has good personal rapport with people, the issue of inflation, for which Congress is responsible, could be a major one in deciding fate of the candidates."


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