Chandigarh: Incomplete new assembly hall of Municipal Corporation building delays House meeting

Chose Gurpurab for grih pravesh, says Mayor Arun Sood; Congress calls it ‘mayor’s dictatorship’, says will expose BJP.

Written by Hina Rohtaki | Chandigarh | Published: November 15, 2016 6:59:14 am
chandigarh municipal corporation, chandigarh mc, chandigarh assembly hall, chandigarh new assembly hall, chandigarh news, india news The hall before the meeting. (Source: Express photo)

MAYOR ARUN Sood billed it as grih pravesh. The only problem was, the grih was not ready and the pravesh was delayed by around three hours.

The House meeting was scheduled to be held in the new assembly hall of the Municipal Corporation building at 12 noon. According to the mayor, it was planned on the auspicious occasion of Guru Nanak Dev’s birth anniversary. However, his critics accused him of being in a hurry to take credit for throwing open the new hall before the code of conduct for Municipal Corporation elections came into force on November 15. Sources said even officials had told the mayor it was too early to hold the meeting in the new hall as it was incomplete.

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However, the mayor put his foot down and wanted the meeting in the new hall only.

So, over 100 labourers, who worked through Sunday night, did their best to prepare the hall for the meeting. But they could not as it was yet to be painted fully, the furniture was yet to be placed, and it was already 12 noon. As a result, the authorities decided to postpone the meeting by two hours.

The Congress councillors termed it wrong to conduct the meeting on a day when the entire nation was observing holiday because of Gurpurab.

Finally, the meeting started around 2.30 pm amid a boycott by the Congress councillors. The meeting began with Mayor Sood taking credit in his speech in the presence of city BJP chief Sanjay Tandon. Although it may be considered against norms, Sood and Joint Commissioner Manoj Khatri welcomed Tandon who was sitting in the visitors’ gallery.

In his speech, the mayor said, “The work on the building started in 2012. It was supposed to be completed in two years. Now it is the end of 2016. It you don’t make things time-bound — this is the inaugural date and the hall should be ready by this time — the work will not be completed.”

On the Congress criticism for holding the meeting on Gurpurab, he said, “Everybody wants a good
occasion to have a grih parvesh. There is nothing wrong if we chose this day for the meeting in
the new hall.”

However, the Congress councillors alleged that there could not be a better example of the mayor’s dictatorship than this incident. “Holding the meeting on this day, that too in an incomplete hall — this is mayor’s dictatorship. Just to take credit, the BJP was in such a hurry that they did not even review the work that was incomplete,” said city Congress chief Pardeep Chhabra.

Congress councillor Subhash Chawla stated that Congress would expose the BJP and soon come up with details on why there was a hurry in holding such inaugurations. Highlights

n SAD councillor Harjinder Kaur delivered an introductory speech on Guru Nanak Dev. However, Major (retd) D S Sandhu, a nominated councillor, said that on a day when she should do ‘seva’ at the gurdwaras, she was attending the House meeting. He demanded her resignation. Sandhu lodged his protest before the media and skipped the meeting.

n It was certainly not their day. School students had to be honoured on the occasion of Children’s Day and 85 of them were called at 11 am. But they were honoured at 3 pm due to the delay.

n As a detailed discussion was required, the agenda item of smart water meters was deferred. However, the remaining items were approved.

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