WHILE THEY do not have funds even to carry out patchwork on the broken roads and has left commuters to fend for themselves, the corporation went ahead to plan a trip to Leh from the funds allocated for Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary celebrations.
As many as 26 of them — 24 councillors and two officers — will be heading to Leh on a four-day trip. They say that they will pay obeisance at Gurdwara Pathar Sahib which has been constructed in the memory of Guru Nanak. An expenditure of at least Rs 10 lakh is being incurred on this trip.
A direct flight will be taken from Chandigarh to Leh on September 24, which is Tuesday. One day is meant to get acclimatised to the atmosphere and the return is scheduled by the evening of September 28.
The entire trip was kept under wraps from the media in order to avoid criticism in the run-up to the trip. A meeting of the committee constituted for the 550th birth celebrations was held but even the press release which was sent did not specify anything about the tour.
A BJP councillor who refused to go said on condition of anonymity that this is not only a wrong practice but the atmosphere in Leh is also not suitable at the moment.
“Otherwise you say that you are short of funds and then you make a trip from the funds meant for Guru Nanak’s birth anniversary. This way Brahmins will say civic body should allocate funds for Parshuram jayanti and other castes will also ask for the same,” the councillor said.
He added, “And Leh is a place where oxygen level is low. So they should understand. There are some elderly too among those going on the trip.”
There have been incidents in the past during the tours. During a trip to Andaman and Nicobar islands, a councillor had fallen ill and later when he was brought back, he had died. Similarly, another councillor had suffered brain hemorrhage.
Among those councillors who will be going on trip are Mayor Rajesh Kalia, Hardeep Singh, Kanwarjeet Singh, Ravi Kant Sharma, Sheela Devi, Arun Sood, Gurbax Rawat, Chanderwati Shukla, Heera Negi, Vinod Aggarwal, Ravinder Kaur, Raj Bala Malik, Shipra Bansal, Rajesh Kumar Gupta, Devinder Singh Babla, Dalip Sharma, Shakti Prakash Devshali, Bharat Kumar, Jagtar Jagga, Anil Dubey, Sachin Lohtiya, Sunita Dhawan, Ajay Dutta, Haji Mohd Khurshid Ali and officers — Additional Commissioner Anil Garg and official Ajay Garg.
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