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City in Focus: Barwala

City in Focus: Barwala, naya haryana, नया हरियाणा

23rd August 2014

Naya Haryana

Haryana may be a small state but if one looks deeper you begin to discover the variety and vibrancy of Haryana. One such place that holds its own identity is Barwala. To the uninitiated, Barwala is a town located 32 kms northeast of Hisar, on the Hisar-Chandigarh highway. Despite being located at a strategic point on the highway, Barwala has remained as another under developed town of Haryana. The story of state apathy repeats itself as one goes through the streets of Barwala. What one sees is a sad crumbling town with poor infrastructure. There are virtually no sewage lines and open drains of stinking filth with garbage dumped in several places, can be seen all over. The roads are in terrible condition, as usual. What makes a state government pour all its time and resources in say Gurgaon and completely neglect a town like Barwala? In both towns Haryanvis live, so why do the people of Barwala have to suffer at the hands of the state, while another is relatively pampered? This is not about the development of Gurgaon, which it fully deserves, but of the fact that the state government seems to have abandoned the people of Barwala.

The problems being suffered by most towns of Haryana is being repeated in Barwala and the people seem to have given up hope for a better future. The town lacks almost all basic facilities like clean drinking water line, a functional municipal service that would maintain basic cleanliness, modern school infrastructure, the list can go on and on. Haryana has a rich tradition of sports and sportspersons but strangely the town does not even have a sports stadium nor is there much sporting activity here, to keep the youth engaged. It is sad that none of the elected representatives from the area have taken initiative to galvanize the people in petitioning the Chief Minister to allocate additional funds to develop the basic infrastructure in the town. How is it that Hisar, just 32 kms away, has been developing at a faster pace, while Barwala seems to have stopped in time? This neglect has come at a cost. There is wide spread unemployment in the area, with the youth getting restless and even turning to crime. The young women have very little opportunity for any activity beyond the school or college, there is very little social engagement programs initiated by the state government, for the youth of Barwala. From the above, it would seem that Barwala is a just another dead town. Far from it. There is so much that Barwala has as part of its history and culture. In our vision of Naya Haryana, we would like to bring these out to the rest of the country. There is a lot of potential for tourism in this region. Besides places like Hisar, Hansi and Jind, Barwala too has its share to offer, to interested and inquisitive tourist. How many have heard of the melas that are regular features here? Did you know of the Devi mela organised at Banbhori village? Or the Ramdevji ka Mela at Bheri Akbarpur? These melas can be further developed to attract international tourists, on the lines of Pushkar in Rajasthan. There are so many places to visit in Barwala. There is the temple of Durga and the temple of Hanuman at Surewala, both of which have good potential to attract visitors. In fact, what is needed is a cultural centre that can serve has a hub for community celebrations and also serve as a point for tourist congregation, to get a glimpse of the rich culture of the local people. If you are passing by the area, you cannot miss out on the Bhaggu Halwai's famous Sohan Halwa. Did you know that the village of Khedi Barki and nearby areas is known for carrot farming? This again could be developed as a tourist attraction by developing a Gajar ka Halwa festival. Even a small town like Barwala has so much to offer to a tourist and all it takes is some creative initiative, backed by political will and people participation, to bring a place like Barwala on to the tourist map.

We have a vision for Naya Haryana and in that vision, Barwala too will find its place and fair share of development, that it has so far been denied. Any town that has grown with time but not as a result of planning, will require a complete over haul to upgrade the quality of life of its local residents. There is an urgent need to establish an Industrial zone in the area that will use local talent and entrepreneurship to manufacture a variety of goods. Given its strategic location on the highway, there is scope of setting up a warehousing and logistics park in Barwala. There is also good scope for settling up food processing units in the area, as the belt is rich in agriculture and with its location on the highway, it will be in a position to serve the needs of both NCR, as well as,Punjab. It is ironic that despite there being the Rajiv Gandhi Thermal Power Plant nearby, Barwala still suffers from severe electricity shortage. The problem is with the state government that has failed to project, plan and prioritize the electricity needs of the state and has failed to make the necessary investments, despite having its own party in power at the centre for almost a decade. This lack of political will has had its negative impact in the state and the condition of Barwala today, stands as the best example. Barwala has been neglected a long time by successive state governments and will require a substantial amount of investment and political will to address its current problems. It is time for the people to stand up and demand their rights. There is a dynamic Prime Minister in Delhiand it is time for the people to rise and make the change for a Naya Haryana. The nation has seen a welcome change at the centre and now it's the time for the local people of Haryana to look forward to  acche din . There is hope for Barwala.

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