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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Ward Watch No.8: Chandigarh councillor grows by leaps and bounds but ward fails to keep pace with him

Be it speaking in the General House on any issue of any ward or fighting to get work of his own ward passed, Arun Sood was quite vocal about what he thought was best — even if it drew criticism.

Written by Hina Rohtaki | Chandigarh |
November 1, 2021 8:53:07 am
chandigarh news arun sood mayor bjpAlthough Arun Sood is known for bringing all the state-of-the-art facilities in his ward like a community centre which he said was with a five-star facility, residents of his ward are divided on the development works carried out in his term. (File Photo)

From councillor to mayor to city BJP president, Arun Sood came a long way in these 10 years. But his ward — ward no. 8 that comprises sectors 37, 38 and 38 west — still lags behind in terms of development, going by what residents have to say.

Be it speaking in the General House on any issue of any ward or fighting to get work of his own ward passed, Sood was quite vocal about what he thought was best — even if it drew criticism.

It was in 2016 that Sood got elected again from the same ward. Although he is known for bringing all the state-of-the-art facilities in his ward like a community centre which he said was with a five-star facility, residents of his ward are divided on the development works carried out in his term.

Pankaj Gupta, president of Sector 38 West Residents Welfare Association, maintains that nothing much has been done during Sood’s decade-long tenure.

“Arun Sood has been the Municipal Councillor from Ward No. 8 comprising sectors 37, 38 and 38 West for the past 10 years since 2011 but there is nothing to his credit for the development of these sectors. Heaps of garbage can be seen at various places in Sector 38W. Though a community centre was built during the tenure of Sood at a whopping cost of more than R 5 crore, it is of no use for the residents of Sector 38 West due to very high booking cost,” Gupta said.

He added, “The community centre of Sector 38 West is situated in the residential area and due to its booking by outsiders, local residents face noise and air pollution, parking problems, traffic and security hazards as well.

Half of the land, where the community centre has been constructed, was reserved for the dispensary in the original layout plan of the sector but Sood got the land meant for the dispensary merged in the community centre. Thus, the residents of Sector 38 West have permanently been deprived of the dispensary. There is no facility in it for the benefit of the residents.”

About the gym equipment, Gupta stated, “Not only the workout machines installed there five years back are gathering rust but also there is no library, e-sampark centre, post office and playing equipment for the children. The community centre of Sector 38 West has proved to be a white elephant and not a well-thought-out decision of the present councillor.”

J P Yadav, president of Sector 37 RWS, listed some pending works of Sector 37, which they were expecting in this tenure but hasn’t been done.

“Pending works in Sector 37 include making of walking tracks in the two parks and providing pole lights in dark spots at the exit points from Sector 37A towards sector 37/38 dividing road/ bus stop. There is a need to put in place machinery to lift the green waste and malba seen lying here and there. Stray dogs are quite a problem in Sector 37 which needs serious attention,” Yadav said.

He said that the participation of residents’ welfare associations is required. “I would rather say that more involvement of sector RWAs in planning and execution of development schemes is required for effective utilisation of scarce financial resources. Our area councillor otherwise is effective and concerned about the development of the ward,” he said.

There are some who are more concerned about the condition of roads, park lights and walking tracks. “The condition of internal roads of Sector 38 West is quite pathetic. In Pocket A, no recarpeting of roads has been done for the last eight-nine years, whereas in Pocket B, recarpeting was done three-four months back during rainy season and pits can be seen on roads there too,” stated Dr K S Chaudhary, president, Sector 38 West Residents United Front.

Chitranjan Singh, president of Sector 38W MIG Group Agency, highlights the condition of parks. “In parks of the sector, swings, benches, lights and walking tracks are in very poor condition. There is a heavy growth of wild grass everywhere,” he said.

The residents pointed out that being in the ruling party, Sood could have done something concrete with the dumping ground as due to its proximity with the sector, the stench reaches their sector. Sector 38 West is close to the dumping ground.

“Even though he remained mayor too, he took no steps to resolve the problem of dumping ground, which is the biggest problem for the residents of the sector. The poisonous air pollution and intolerable bad smell coming from the dumping ground have made the lives of residents of Sector 38 (West) miserable. In a nutshell, the performance of Arun Sood as a councillor has been very poor and maybe rated below average,” said Sunil Pahal, president, Active RWA Sector 38 West.

However, there were some who are all praise for him because of his work. “Our ward councillor Arun Sood is taking care of Sector 38. Minor problems are sorted out by the residents. These days Sood is busy in getting the community centre complete so that RWAs and senior citizens can hold their meetings. Sanitary, health, electricity and water supply staff attend to problems at the earliest,” stated Major D P Singh, Adviser, Sector 38 RWA.

ACHIEVEMENTS

Among achievements of his ward that Sood listed were opening two state-of-the-art community centres while one was still under construction in Sector 38. He said that he got all dark spots lit up by erecting high-mast lights in parks and markets. He also stated that he got roads recarpeted and those with the latest technology in motor market in Sector 38.

Other achievements listed were inaugurating the Mahila Bhawan, building walking tracks. He stated that the work of house indicator signboards was underway.

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