MeraNews Network, Gandhinagar: Garbage strewn and piled on the sides of the streets dotted with potholes and cracks is what welcomes you upon entering Khanpur, a village of 5500 residents falling under the Dehgam taluka panchayat. Located near the Dehgam-Modasa road off Gandhinagar, the village has been suffering from the irregular supply of water and sanitation issues.

Speaking to MeraNews, the village sarpanch Ketan Patel says that about 15 proposals regarding development for the village have been submitted to the concerned authorities and departments, but so far it hasn’t yielded any response or approval from them.

But Natwar Sonara, a village elder who was spotted at the panchayat office claimed that all the development works have been done in the village, but refused to divulge any details about what kind of work he was talking about. According to village residents, Sonara is employed as a peon at the village high school and his wife Ramila Sonara is the deputy sarpanch, though it is him who attends all the meetings at the panchayat.

Amidst all the garbage piles are some public toilets built at specific locations in the village. These toilet walls have been painted with slogans of Swachch Bharat Abhiyan, the union government’s pet project on cleanliness. Ironically, the 'swachchta' cannot be seen anywhere in the village.

A chat with the local shopkeeper in the village, and he refutes the claim made about development by Sonara. “Can see any of the ‘vikas’ they are talking about in the village?” asks the shopkeeper who didn’t name himself. He was true, as the even the drainage lines of the village are damaged and as a result, dirty water sometimes flows onto the streets, making the area stink. The village has an irregular bus service, which forces people to depend on the private rickshaws plying in and around Dehgam.

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