As councillors wait for answers,Mayor takes up their cause

The councillors allege that some of the questions are contentious in nature. That is why the officials are reluctant to reply

Written by Khushboo Sandhu | Chandigarh | Published: July 30, 2013 2:24 am

Not paying much heed to the questions posed by councillors,the officials of the Municipal Corporation seem unwilling to provide replies. While it is mandatory for questions asked by councillors to be replied to and included in the meetings of the General House,the officials seem to be reluctant to reply to several questions which seem contentious. After replies to questions were not given for durations ranging from several months to even a year,the mayor has written to the MC secretary to take action.

As per procedure,the questions that the councillors want to ask are given in writing to the secretary of the civic body. It is from his office that the questions are forwarded to the departments concerned. These replies are to be included in the meeting of the House. The councillors allege that some of the questions are contentious in nature. That is why the officials are reluctant to give replies. The issue became a bone of contention with the officials being directed to submit replies to all queries.

Among the councillors who submitted questions whose replies were not given is nominated councillor Surinder Bahga. One of the questions that he asked was pertaining to the allotment of tenders. He had asked how many tenders were allotted,how many were clubbed and how many were single tenders among other things.

Bahga said,“The questions I raised were never replied to. I was then forced to file an application under the Right to Information Act. Even then,not all departments have provided information. The officials are not willing to divulge information as it might reveal the wrongdoings.”

Deputy Mayor Satish Kainth also has similar grouses. He maintains that the questions that they submit are not replied to on time. “When the councillors write to the officers for some work to be done,no action taken report is given. It is when we enquire about the work that we are told objections were raised by the higher authorities. I had asked questions on this issue,” said Kainth.

He lamented that the councillors were not even given enough respect and their questions,which are mandatory to be answered and included in the House,were not given any importance.

Even Mayor Subhash Chawla has not received answers to questions he posed last year when he was a councillor. After repeated complaints from the councillors,Chawla wrote a letter to the MC Secretary,saying replies to the questions be given and submitted in the House.

MC Secretary Rajiv Gupta said,“Four pending questions have been included in the agenda of the meeting of the House scheduled for this month. The remaining questions would also be replied to by the officials of different departments and gradually be included in the subsequent meetings.”

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