Continuing with ‘MLA Report Card’ series, IANS caught up with Suresh Patel, a lawmaker from Maninagar constituency of Ahmedabad, the seat from where Narendra Modi fought elections during his stint as Chief Minister of Gujarat.
He told IANS, “I have been MLA of this constituency after Modi became the Prime Minister.”
“In our Maninagar area, Modiji did a lot of development work –he built BRTS, beautified Kankaria, and constructed various bridges. We had a major issue of rainwater clogging when I became the MLA. This was because entire Ahmedabad’s rainwater flowed through Maninagar into the Sabarmati river. So, we made a big pumping station and a drainage system using new technologies. We also increased the piping system to release rainwater faster,” he said.
Earlier, this process used to take two days, now water is released in just half an hour, he said.
“Second major issue of the constituency was traffic congestion. With the increase in the number of vehicles, the issue became more problematic. So, we widened around 8 bridges in the area. Narendrabhai made a scheme, according to which if any residential society needs any development then 80 per cent funding would be given from the state government and society had to bear the remaining 20 per cent cost. Now corporators and MLAs provide the remaining 20 per cent funding. There is no society without drainage, roads, or light in our area,” he added.
“Except Narol and Lambha area, where there are still some issues of water logging, all other areas in my constituency are already developed. My office is always open to the public. I have put my personal mobile number on a board outside my office. I never switch off my phone, I always give a call back even to the missed calls. Modi sir has handed over his seat to me, so it’s my responsibility to satisfy all the needs of my constituency,” Suresh Patel said further.
Even during Covid times, we started community kitchens and distributed ration kits to the people. We also helped residents by starting a toll-free number to call for any emergency, Patel said.
A resident of Maninagar Atish Patel said, “I have been living in this area for 30 years. Our area is already developed, there are no major issues here. So now we are at the beautification stage. We are planting more trees, have good hospitals, colleges, heritage sites at Kankaria — even older bridges of our areas are being widened.”
Jigar Baraiya, a resident from Isanpur said, “I am born and brought up in this area. Our MLA is always there to listen to us. We have more than 500 societies in Isanpur area. During the pandemic, one of my relatives was in a serious condition and needed a bed with oxygen. Our MLA Suresh Patel helped us with that and now that relative is fine. I have seen them serving food to 3000-4000 people during the pandemic. Now we have smart government schools in our area.”