Monday, 30th October 2017

E- paper

A four-letter open warning

'No cleanliness, no electricity, no water, no vote,' the banner said, adding, 'We vote for NOTA'

By Achintya Ganguly in Ranchi
  • Published 5.04.19, 12:25 AM
  • Updated 5.04.19, 12:25 AM
  • 2 mins read
The NOTA banner in front of roadside trash at Pepee Compound in Ranchi on Thursday. Picture by Manob Chowdhary

The residents of Pepee Compound, a posh locality off Main Road in Ranchi, but locally known as PP or even Pee Pee Compound, woke up on Thursday to find a banner on Singhee Marg on opting for NOTA during the upcoming general election.

“No cleanliness, no electricity, no water, no vote,” the banner said, adding, “We vote for NOTA”.

NOTA or None of the above happens to be the last option in the electronic voting machine and indicates disapproval of candidates in the elections.

The banner, placed in front of roadside trash, also sarcastically said, “Smart City Ranchi, Posh locality PP Compound.”

Who put up the banner remains a mystery. Ostensibly issued in the name of the locality's welfare society — a residents’ body yet to be registered — the committee disclaimed any knowledge of the matter.

But residents of Pepee Compound agreed with whatever the banner said. “Don’t know who put it up, but problems mentioned on the banner are genuine and I agree with them,” said a resident who didn’t wish to be named.

Pepee Compound in Ranchi on Thursday.
Pepee Compound in Ranchi on Thursday. Picture by Manob Chowdhary

A chartered accountant and long-time resident of the colony, Anjali Jain said this banner did not appear to be the handiwork of a prankster. “Someone has spent some money to express the frustration and anguish of residents here over the prevailing state of affairs,” Jain said. “I fully agree with what’s put up there,” she added.

“Traffic is chaotic, power supply is erratic, there’s a water crisis and cleanliness is a joke. We attempted to draw the attention of authorities to these pressing problems in vain,” Jain said, adding they had written to the administrator of Ranchi Municipal Corporation about the problems, with copies to the chief minister, mayor, deputy mayor, and another to the traffic SP, both in 2017.

Their letter to RMC administration, she said, written on May 1, 2017, drew attention to garbage, haphazard parking of vehicles that created traffic jams, the need for systematic supply of water, sufficient streetlights and rainwater harvesting.

Another letter to SP traffic on July 26 that year focused on the traffic chaos at Sujata Chowk, the locality’s entry point, and suggested vehicle movement be regulated by introducing one-way traffic in one part of the locality. “Nothing happened again. So yes, NOTA would not be a bad option.”

The banner revived all those memories, said an elderly resident who did not want to be named. “The residents’ committee today (Thursday) prepared a fresh statement, highlighting their problems mentioned in those letters of 2017. We will hand it over to candidates who ask us to vote for them,” he said.