Firozabad, Feb 21 (ANI): With four of seven phases of polling over in Uttar Pradesh, residents of Uttar Pradesh's Firozabad city, the state's famed glassmaking hub, have to contend with a lack of water, power supply and education, which is fuelling the migration of its residents to other cities, as well as abroad.
Speaking about the acute water problem, social activist Waqaruddin Ahmed said apart from the receding water table, the paucity of power often forced people to walk long distances to fetch water.
"Firozabad's biggest problem is its receding water level. The water problem here is very acute. All the submersible pumps people use need electricity. When there is no power, people have to walk for over a kilometre to fetch water," Ahmed said.
Ahmed, who runs a free clinic for the poor, lamented the lack of good educational facilities in the constituency, which will go to polls on February 23.
He said that labourers' families pushed their children into the glassmaking industry because the lack of good educational facilities did not help them get jobs even after they were educated.
"Work that was required at the level of infrastructure was never done. Firozabad is especially a city of labourers, due to the glass industry. The lack of good education is felt acutely, because no efforts were made on an adequate scale to provide education in both the rural and urban portions of the constituency," Ahmed said.
Ahmed was also critical of the government's inaction over the local glassmakers' demand for gas, an essential requirement of the industry, while small-scale glassmakers had to continuously deal with the strictures of pollution control authorities.
A local glassworker, Rafi Ahmad, said that voters in the city expected a leader who would strengthen law and order.
"The least we require is a party whose rule establishes law and order so that we have peace in the city. We also want them to aid us in improving our business, so that all of us labourers can benefit. What else can a voter want?" he said.
The Uttar Pradesh polls are being viewed as an opportunity for major political parties to re-establish their foothold in the country"s fifth largest and most populous state. new 403-member state assembly will be elected in March. The poll results will broadly indicate trends for the 2014 general elections. (ANI)
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