People who are staying in the slums in Vizag will play a crucial role in the upcoming urban body elections to be held on March 10 because of their sheer size. One-third of the Vizag’s population stays in slums with the barest of amenities. Vizag city has a population of over 24 lakh people. Of this, over 8 lakh people live in over 730 slums spread across the city. Realizing the value of their vote ahead of the civic body elections, YSRCP and TDP leaders have been trying to woo the slum dwellers. Even though basic amenities and infrastructure in the slums have improved over the years, civic issues have been plaguing their areas.
Over 2 lakh slum dwellers are construction workers while 30,000 are auto-rickshaw drivers and the remaining are sanitation workers, domestic helps, transport workers, street vendors. Most of the workers come from neighbourhood districts in search of a livelihood. More than three lakh slum dwellers are living on the hills and they are on the verge of the constant threat of landslides. There is an urgent need to address the problems of slum dwellers by creating infrastructure and amenities and also better employment for them.
With welfare and housing schemes reaching their doorsteps of slum dwellers, the leaders of the YSRCP is quite sure of getting a large chunk of vote share, thereby they will maintain their winning streak. TDP local leaders say the people are unhappy with the YSRCP government and they would teach a lesson in these elections. But for YSRCP, it is the people’s love that is giving enough strength to continue to maintain their winning streak going by the panchayat elections result. After all, for TDP it is a do-or-die battle in GVMC polls.