Chandigarh: Push to decorate already plush community centres in BJP councillor’s wardhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/chandigarh-push-to-decorate-already-plush-community-centres-in-bjp-councillors-ward-5598425/

Chandigarh: Push to decorate already plush community centres in BJP councillor’s ward

As many as 80 aluminium garden chairs worth Rs 8.70 lakh (40 in each community centres) will be installed, as per the agenda. In each of the two community centres, 10 umbrellas worth Rs 87,040, 10 coffee tables worth Rs 1.6 lakh, a food counter worth Rs 10,294 will also be installed, says the agenda.

Chandigarh: Push to decorate already plush community centres in BJP councillor’s ward
The agenda was not approved in December’s Finance and Contract Committee meeting

A dumbwaiter, food and bar counters and aluminium furniture worth Rs 53 lakh for two well-furnished community centres in BJP Councillor Arun Sood’s ward — this is an agenda included in Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) meeting to be held on Monday. These community centres of Sector 37 and 38 West were constructed and furnished for over Rs 5.50 crore each recently.

The agenda was not approved in December’s Finance and Contract Committee meeting with a plea that a general policy be framed for all community centres instead of focusing on one area.

The agenda also specifies the brand of 100 plastic chairs to be bought for Rs 1.91 lakh. As many as 80 aluminium garden chairs worth Rs 8.70 lakh (40 in each community centres) will be installed, as per the agenda. In each of the two community centres, 10 umbrellas worth Rs 87,040, 10 coffee tables worth Rs 1.6 lakh, a food counter worth Rs 10,294 will also be installed, says the agenda.

“Besides these, 10 Supreme Vegas centre tables for Rs 21,000 will be purchased for one community centre. Hinges and pivots for doors will be installed for Rs 82,167 each. A fabricated structure of dumbwaiter will be set up for Rs 1.53 lakh,” as per the agenda.

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In the December’s meeting, it was observed, “The committee considered and decided that a proper policy be prepared for all the community centres as to what facilities are required and then estimates be prepared accordingly.”

A BJP councillor, who was a member of the previous F&CC, requesting anonymity, said they did not approve this agenda, stating that this was wastage of public money. “…It’s being so shameless to get the agenda included again. It is really wrong if they approve it,” said the councillor.

Congress Councillor Devinder Singh Babla said that he had also pointed it out in the General House that it is not justified to spend hefty amounts only on these community centres. “When they furnished it, they installed a chandelier worth over Rs 6 lakh here. We will oppose it in the General House and won’t let it pass,” Babla said.

Councillor Arun Sood said that they wanted to increase the capacity and that is why more aluminum furniture was needed. “There was a capacity of 60 such coffee tables and chairs. We are just enhancing it to 100 each. And when a rooftop restaurant is there, it is required to have a dumbwaiter to ferry food from kitchen on the ground floor. Those who are unable to provide such facilities in their community centres are having problem with mine. If a general policy is to be done, why has there been a lift only in Sector 48 community centre,” he questioned, adding only the two in his ward have the best of facilities at par with a five star hotel.

“There are people who cancel bookings at the Taj (Chandigarh) and come here. It has high number of bookings,” he said.

Sood further justified, “In the first place, why is the rent of these community centres Rs 30,000 as compared to Rs 10,000 of others — only because there must be really good facilities here. Then, these are the only centres with 600 members who pay membership fee of Rs 1,000, which means Rs 6 lakh annually. So this amount of expenditure can be recovered within four years only from this fee,” Sood said adding that these community centres are for the city residents and not just his ward.

Rebel Councillor Satish Kainth said that most of them are “non-scheduled (NS) items” where there is scope of bungling. “Had it been DSR (Delhi schedule of rates), there wasn’t any scope, but most of the items have been taken under NS where a thing which costs Rs 100 can be shown for Rs 1,000. Because the code of conduct (ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha polls) has to come into force, they just want to quickly get such agendas approved,” Kainth said.

Municipal Commissioner K K Yadav said that a policy for all the community centres will also be taken up where they will decide if these things are to be provided generally. “This agenda is just a follow up of what came up in the December meeting. Let the F&CC decide whether they want to have such facilities generally in other community centres as well.”

Rajesh Sharma, a resident of Sector 38, said that there is no need of this additional expenditure. “Both the community centres (in Sood’s ward) are very well furnished. “This is a waste of money. They have proper interiors with chairs, tables and what not,” he said.