DELHI: Sohna is to Gurgaon what Gurgaon is to Delhi. Sohna Road, which once used to be the other end of Gurgaon, is now the hottest destination in the town after MG Road. The bumpy two-lane road has been replaced by a six-lane highway which is busy 24×7.
The housing and commercial development has almost reached Sohna town, leading to a spectacular rise in property prices and there are many rags-to-riches stories one hears about sitting at one of the tea shops in the town. A decade ago, one could buy a piece of land at the rate of just Rs 3,000 per square yard but now the same chunk of land costs Rs 40,000 per square yard.
As one drives down on Sohna Road, there are quite a few impressive structures on both sides of the road – an international university, renowned schools, fancy shopping malls and tall housing apartments, most of which are nearing completion.
However, as one reaches the town, the roads are not in the best of conditions. But not many seem to be complaining about them. Maybe, in their newly acquired SUVs they don’t get to feel the bumps like before.
People in Sohna don’t have a long list of grouses. One demand that is on top of their minds is a government college. Ram Chander, 65, who runs a diary, said, “We want a government degree college for our girls. The government should set up some institutes here instead of relying only on private colleges which have mushroomed in the recent past,” he said.
Rajesh Kumar, a 40-year-old grain merchant, wants Sohna to be as developed as Gurgaon. “The pace at which real estate prices went up in Gurgaon has not been replicated here. There should be at least one college and one hospital in this town. Though there is a small hospital here, but it is insufficient to handle even an accident case,” said Kumar.
However, there are some families which have been rendered unemployed by the real estate boom. They claim to have not been sufficiently compensated by the developers and that even the state didn’t stand by them. Now, such families demand employment in new projects.
During the last assembly elections, sitting MLA Dharambir got 20,443 votes from Sohna constituency, just 505 votes ahead of his next rival Zakir Hussian from Indian National Lok Dal. Now, both of them are contesting Lok Sabha elections – Dharambir from Bhiwani-Mahendergarh on a BJP ticket and Zakir on an INLD ticket.
Sohna has historically played a key role in various assembly elections. Now, it remains to be seen if it will decide who the next Gurgaon MP will be.