Chandigarh: No end to MC-Mayor tussle, civic body gives two projects a ‘push’

Civic chief says work has started on ‘time-bound’ Swachh Survekshan, regularisation of unauthorised colonies.

Written by Vinod Kumar | Panchkula | Published:December 8, 2016 12:45 pm
Chandigarh, mayor, municipal corporation, Mayor MC, lalit siwach, municipal commissioner lalit siwach, mayor upinder kaur ahluwalia, chandigarh news, india news, indian express news Municipal Commissioner Lalit Siwach and Panchkula Mayor Upinder Kaur.

WITH NO end in sight to the ongoing stand-off with Panchkula Mayor, the municipal corporation officials have started working on time-bound projects without involving the elected representatives. Officials have twice written to Mayor Upinder Kaur for convening a special meeting to work out the action plan for Swachh Survekshan-2017 and regularisation of unauthorised colonies. On both the occasions, the Mayor turned down the request on the ground that action against MC Commissioner and executive officer O P Sihag, who along with other officials walked out of MC house meeting held on October, is awaited.

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Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) launched Swachh Suvekshan-2017 in which 500 cities and towns are to be ranked based on levels of sanitation and efforts put in by the respective urban local bodies. Teams of the ministry will carry out inspection in first week of January next year.

Haryana is in the process of regularising illegal colonies. There are a total of 46 illegal colonies in Panchkula district and the corporation has to carry a survey of these colonies before putting up the case before the state government.

With little time in hand, Municipal Commissioner Lalit Siwach said they had started working on both the projects. For Swachh Survekshan, the corporation has roped in representatives of resident welfare associations, market associations, students and other stakeholders. The civic body has also started the survey of illegal colonies. “We wanted to take help of elected representatives, but unfortunately Mayor did not agree to hold meeting on these important issues,” said Siwach.

Mayor Upinder Kaur, on the other hand, said that both the projects involves administrative works and there is no role of the elected representatives. “We have already informed the officials about the same,” said the Mayor.

Last year, the tussle between officials and elected representatives had cost the city place in the smart city list.
Rakesh Aggarwal, general secretary of Lok Saravhitkari Society, said that both the projects are crucial for Panchkula and the officials and elected representatives should work together.

Bone of contention

In the past few months, the Mayor and MC Commissioner have been at loggerheads and have been writing letters against each other to higher authorities.

Siwach had complained to Ambala Divisional Commissioner Ankur Gupta that she had been threatening him and writing letters, following which a suspension notice was issued to her. The notice was stayed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court after she filed a petition. On November 24, Mayor and 12 councillor had written to Haryana Chief Minister alleging that MC Commissioner and executive officer were hindering the development work of the city.

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