Leading Bollywood star and MP from Chandigarh Kirron Kher launches her outreach campaign titled Coffee With Kirron Kher…. A special report by Suditi Jindal from Chandigarh, Punjab, India
In wake of upcoming general elections to constitute the 17th Lok Sabha, political parties are pulling out every rabbit from their hats to impress voters. One such effort is the outreach programme by the MP from Chandigarh, Mrs Kirron Kher, called ‘Coffee with Kirron Kher’.
The purpose of this string of events, wherein 20-odd have already been completed and 20-odd are more to go, is to invite residents from the vicinity to gather at a place and put their issues, questions, and complaints to Mrs Kher, who then addresses them with an intent to put in place a solution or put her efforts to get a solution.
The latest gathering which was organised at a residence in sector 35, Chandigarh, has been the biggest till date with a participation of around 250 people. One of the matters that was brought to the MP’s attention was the menace of stray dogs in Chandigarh. Mrs Kher said that her hands are tied in the issue, as a Supreme Court ruling required a number of conditions to be met for tackling the problems related to strays. On a lighter note, the parliamentarian advised that the locals appeal to Mrs Maneka Gandhi for this issue.
Residents were also curious to know from their MP the reasons for her rooting for monorail to improve the state of public transportation. Mrs Kher said that if Punjab and Haryana could better manage their vehicular traffic that enters into and plies within Chandigarh, then she would provide more and better e-buses and rickshaws. In absence of that she advocated the case of monorail over the metro train, as the former would not disrupt traffic and normal life for years that are spent in construction, as has been the case in Delhi. She also stated that a monorail system would add beauty to the city which already has a very modern design.
Residents also put up requests to allocate the flats of various government housing schemes which have been lying vacant, to prevent their misuse by miscreants. The issue of certain public parks becoming unsafe after sunset for residents was also brought up for redressal.
Asian Lite also got an opportunity to exclusively interview Mrs Kirron Kher. When asked about the accomplishment which is closest to her heart from the tenure that has almost come to an end, Mrs Kher replied that the provision of drinking water for all the residents round the clock, is the one.
Asian Lite asked her what the residents could look forward to if she was re-elected. The parliamentarian said that she would like to do a lot of things like bring the monorail to Chandigarh, make Chandigarh a wifi-enabled city, introduce English as the medium of instruction in government schools, among others.
Chandigarh’s dismal performance in Swachh Survekshan 2019, was brought up for Mrs Kher’s comments and remedies. She said that waste segregation at source needs to be put in place and training can be given to safai karamcharies and residents regarding segregating their waste and collecting the waste separately. She also pointed out the flaw in the contract with the company assigned the job of solid waste management in Chandigarh, that has become the root-cause of the growing heap of dump in Dadumajra. She stated the contract comprised no exit clause, rendering the municipal corporation unable in terminating the contract with the erring company. The Supreme Court has provided relief and issued certain directions in this matter. She also pointed out that compost plants have been set up in some big areas for management of bio-degradable waste. Although, the item is under the purview of the local body, yet Mrs Kher said that she would put all her efforts in remedying the situation, once she is re-elected.
Mrs Kher’s interaction with the public and the media was tempered with a lot of hope and promises for the future. What remains to be seen is how many will be swayed by her campaign.