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City in Focus: Jagadhri

City in Focus:  Jagadhri, naya haryana, नया हरियाणा

11th September 2014

Naya Haryana

Jagadhri is a Municipal Council in Yamunanagar district of Haryana. In 1951, Jagadhri was declared a municipal town and was brought under Ambala jurisdiction. This status carried on till Haryana was formed in 1966 and status quo was maintained. However, in 1989, Devi Lal, the then Chief Minister, upgraded Yamunanagar, the twin town of Jagadhri, to a district. Jagadhri now came under the Yamuna Nagar district jurisdiction.

Thriving Utensil and plywood industry

Jagadhri is an ancient city that built its reputation as a major centre for steel and brass utensils. The extensive small and medium factories manufacture and supply its range of utensils to all parts of India. However, in recent years the brassware products have reduced due to high operational costs and instead the steel and aluminium industry has come up very well. There are over 1,500 small and medium factories churning out high quality utensils and other products.

In the twin city of Yamunanagar, the plywood industry has expanded rapidly and today is the second largest centre for plywood and related products after Assam. There are over a thousand units manufacturing plywood and related products. Yamunanagar has also emerged as a major trading centre for plywood.

Between the two industries, there are thousands who are directly and indirectly earning from the industry that has seen increasing wealth in the region.

Places of interest in Jagadhri

Tajewala Barrage: This barrage was built under the British rule in 1873 and was the point where the Yamuna River was split into two canals, the Eastern and Western Canals. In 1999, the Tajewala Barrage was replaced by the Hathnikund Barrage.

Jagadhri, being an ancient town, is also a major religious destination with several ancient temples that has devotees visiting from all parts of India.

In Amadalpur, there is an ancient Shiv temple Shri Pataaleshwar Mahadev, which is very popular and has several ashrams in its vicinity that go back to ancient times. The temple was recently renovated on popular demand. Jagadhri itself has the ancient Kali temple, while there is another Shiv temple located in Bhatli.

In Buria, there is a popular Sikh Gurudwara, dedicated to Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth guru of the Sikhs.

Problems related to the city

Jagadhri has remained a municipal council for decades but till date it does not even have a dedicated building of its own. The Municipal Council office operates out of a few rooms in the building for small scale industries.

It is surprising that a thriving city that is contributing significant revenues to the state is being treated so badly. The overall city is a story of neglect and can be seen if one drives around its roads. The city has seen very little investment to upgrade and improve the civic infrastructure.

The city is overcrowded and made worse by bad roads. The electricity supply to the city is very erratic and severely hampers production in the hundreds of factories there. The factory owners have been raising the issue of poor electricity supply with the state administration for several years but the Hooda government has done very little.

The city also suffers from bad municipal maintenance as there are garbage dumps piled everywhere. The street lighting in the outer areas is bad as the poor sewage system.

Despite a thriving small and medium scale industry in the region, there are very little facilities that have been provided for the labour who live in makeshift camps in extremely poor conditions. Labour, both local, as well as migrant, have little access to proper housing. They don't have regularised electricity, no access to clean drinking water and the medical care facilities for them is virtually non-existent.

There has been little investment made to encourage female entrepreneurs to set up manufacturing units, despite the fact that the younger generation is very open to branch out on their own.

The city has evolved over time; as a result, it is not a planned city. The state government has done very little towards establishing modern housing colonies towards the outskirts that could have mitigated some of the problems being faced by the residents of the city. Year after year, tall promises are made by the state government officials and the local politicians but very little action has been taken to improve the infrastructure.

People want change

The people have been voicing their complaints across social media and now the problems of Jagadhri have become a subject of jokes. The Hooda administration does not seem to be too bothered, as long as the revenues keep rolling in.

But the people are now demanding a better quality of life as they have become disillusioned with 10 years of misrule. The people are now demanding change and are open to a Nayi Soch. The Chief Minister failed in the opportunity to build a Naya Haryana but it is now time for the BJP to step in and show that not only can it transform the nation but also build a Naya Haryana.


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