Chandigarh: As Teej nears, councillors set aside money for gifts — to themselves

Despite the issue of expensive gifts being opposed by several councillors, the committee approved phulkaris and make-up kits for the councillors.

Written by Hina Rohtaki | Chandigarh | Published: July 27, 2016 12:52 pm

THE MUNICIPAL Corporation may be advocating austerity measures to the general public, but not when it comes to themselves. For the Teej festival this time, even as the civic body does not want to “waste money” on roping in a prominent singer, the councillors have allocated money for their own gifts.

Despite the issue of expensive gifts being opposed by several councillors, the arts, culture and sports committee, in a meeting Tuesday, approved phulkaris and make-up kits for the councillors. An amount of Rs 1 lakh has been earmarked for the purpose.

The gifts will be given to women councillors and wives of the male councillors. An amount of Rs 2,500 per councillor has been approved for gifts for all the 36 councillors. The festival of Teej will be celebrated in the first week of August at a park near Gaudiya Math in Sector 20.

Congress councillor Subhash Chawla said, “If study tour is a waste of money, isn’t giving gifts too? Such an event is a complete waste of money when UT already has its own culture department then why this event by the MC. The Mayor should clarify as to what is wastage and what is saving.”

Chairman of the committee, Rajinder Kaur Rattu, claimed that this time they had decided to “save money.”

“We have fixed a limit of Rs 2,500 for gifts which comprises phulkari and items of ‘shringar’. This time we have decided to spend only Rs 8 lakh for a day’s function and that too, judiciously. Also, we have called only local singers” said Rattu.

Apart from this, lunch would be organised for the entire Municipal Corporation team and the invitees.

Much before the celebrations, even the venue has courted controversy. Despite the fact that it was decided that Teej may be celebrated at Manimajra only, the change of venue this time sparked a row.

Councillor Gurcharan Dass Kala said, “They want to hold the function in a BJP ward that is why they changed the venue. Officers too had recommended that MC’s activites should be seen in Manimajra also. Still, the venue has been changed.”

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