A day after 20 councillors consented to go for the Municipal Corporation’s study tour, Congress councillors demanded the cancellation of the tour. The Congress councillors refused to budge from their stand even as the Mayor convened a meeting to convince them to join the tour.
The corporation is organising a five-day tour to Kerala and Kolkata from December 21 at a cost of Rs 35 lakh. The Congress councillors have been opposed to the tour, saying that the tour lacks agenda and is also faced by a funds crunch for the development work in the city.
Congress councillor Satish Kainth also shot off a letter to Mayor Rajesh Kalia, which said, “I appreciate the fact that the Mayor heard the concerns of the opposition for the first time.”
The letter further said, “I suggest you to please cancel the tour. These cities are already not fulfilling the smart city criteria and their ranking have also slipped. All newspapers and other media published the sentiments rousing among the city residents, as it is known to everyone that the MC has not been carrying out development works in Chandigarh due to financial crunch.”
It added, “Being a responsible councillor of the city, I respect the sentiments of the citizens of Chandigarh. You are also on responsible chair, so please cancel the tour and this fund be used for the development of the city.” Congress councillor and leader of opposition Devinder Singh Babla said, the Congress has the same stand and they will not join the tour. He had earlier said that the Congress was opposing the tour as it did not have any agenda and was a waste of money.
After the twenty councillors gave their consent to join the study tour, Mayor Rajesh Kalia had decided to convene a meeting of the Congress councillors to “convince” them to go for the study tour. The mayor also wrote a letter to the Congress councillors, asking them to join the study tour. In his letter, the Mayor said that the tour was being organised to study smart city initiatives, urban planning matters, dealing with municipal solid waste, door to door segregation, to know guidelines of recarpeting of roads and parking situation.
Recently, the councillors went on a trip to leh Ladakh to pay obeisance at Gurdwara Pathar Sahib on the occasion of 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev. The MC authorities have been saying that the tour will enable the councillors to ‘study’ sanitation and water supply in Kerala and Kolkata, even though it has been studied several times in various tours. However, the city has not witnessed any major implementations.