Even as Panchkula Municipal Commissioner (MC) Lalit Siwach and other MC officials boycotted the 15th House meeting on Tuesday, as many as eleven councillors including Mayor Upinder Kaur Ahluwalia continued the meeting and discussed the proposals tabled in the agenda.
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The 15th House meeting of Panchkula Municipal Corporation (MC), that was held on Tuesday, was marked by heated exchanges between MC officials and councillors who blamed each other for disrupting the proceedings of the House. While some councillors alleged that they were being sidelined by MC officials, the latter condemned the others for dragging civic officials into political issues.
The House decided to defer the proposal of outsourcing sanitation work of Ward no 1, 2, 4 and 20, which was raised owing to shortage of sanitation workers in the corporation.
Some of the councillors objected to the “pick and chose policy” for selection of wards for outsourcing.
“Even before discussing the proposal, we should first provide the sanitation workers with basic facilities including adequate uniforms, gloves and boots. It has been several years, but this demand has not been met,” said Councillor Lily Bawa.
The House also deferred the proposal for re-locating the office of the civic body from Sector 14 to Agro Mall, Sector 20. While the Haryana Marketing Board has already granted permission to the corporation for availing space, the proposal invited criticism from councilors and the mayor.
“Apart from the huge rent which the civic body will be required to pay for Agro Mall, it will also cause inconvenience to the residents. The Agro Mall is located across the national highway and it will be difficult and time-consuming for residents to visit it,” said Mayor Upinder Kaur Ahluwalia.
Some councillors also raised the issue that agenda items of their wards were included without their information and they had received the agenda only few hours before the meeting.
“An existing bus-queue shelter is to be removed from one place to another in my ward, without the ward councillor having any information about it. We are accountable to residents,” said Bawa.
Even as eleven councillors discussed the agenda, five councillors including C B Goel, Deputy Mayor Sunil Talwar, Salim, Satinder Singh Tony and Vinod Kumar, who were present in the House, did not take part in the discussion. “There were 11 councillors and we carried on with the meeting and proceedings were recorded as well,” said Mayor Ahluwalia.
However, Commissioner Lalit Siwach argued that since the quorum was not complete, any decision taken by the House is deemed to be invalid. “Attendance was taken and only five councillors signed it. The others have refused to sign, so their presence was not marked,” said Siwach.