At a time when Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has got much flak for splurging on pavers and PCC tiles despite the department of urban planning warning that over-concretising the city was leading to flooding and is detrimental to the green cover, documents accessed by Chandigarh Newsline have revealed that more than half of Mayor Rajesh Kalia’s discretionary fund of Rs 2 crore has been spent on the same.
The Mayor’s discretionary fund is at his disposal to be spent in all other wards except his. These funds are to be spent during his one-year tenure. Documents accessed by this newspaper show that Rs 1.26 crore from this fund was spent on pavers and PCC tiles in various wards this year.
Documents accessed revealed that concrete pavement was laid in back service lane in sector 28 A and D at a cost of Rs 8.78 lakh and “reconstruction of depressed portion with PCC tiles” on V5 road in Sector 28C was done at a cost of Rs 15.22 lakh. Similarly, edge flooring in Industrial Area Phase 1 was done at a cost of Rs 34.46 lakh and PCC tiles were fixed within blocks of houses in Mauli Complex for another Rs 28.12 lakh.
In Faidan village, paver blocks were laid at a cost of Rs 25.26 lakh and a cement walkway was built in parks in sector 25 at a cost of Rs 5.82 lakh.
Interestingly, reconstruction of cement concrete footpath in the green belt near church in Sector 19 was also approved at a cost of Rs 8.70 lakh.
When contacted, Mayor Rajesh Kalia told Chandigarh Newsline, “These pavers and tiles were approved only in those areas where these were required. I gave recommendations only for those places where required.”
In February, Municipal Corporation (MC) Commissioner K K Yadav had put the brakes on the installation of paver blocks and PCC tiles in the city.
The commissioner had stated that the department of urban planning had issued directions on October 30, 2018, and further clarified on January 29, 2019, on the paver policy.
An estimated Rs 30 crore was spent on pavers and tiles in the city. Of this sum, Rs 5 crore was approved for Mayor Rajesh Kalia’s ward alone.
Chandigarh Newsline had in a series of reports revealed how the civic body is consistently spending taxpayers’ money on pavers and PCC tiles. Newsline had even found that in some places, existing pavers which were in good condition were being replaced.