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Chandigarh’s heritage manhole covers to be replaced; pavers, tiles worth Rs 2.84 cr to be installed

The city’s Sector 20 has the highest number of manhole covers, which is 78, which is followed by 77 manhole covers in Sector 8, as many as 76 in Sector 35 and 27 covers at Punjab Engineering College (PEC).

Written by Hina Rohtaki | Chandigarh | Updated: December 31, 2019 6:04:49 am
manholes in chandigarh, cemented manhole covers in chandigarh, Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, chandigarh news, indian express news During the Municipal Corporation’s General House meeting at Municipal Corporation office in Sector 17 of Chandigarh on Monday. (Photo: Jasbir Malhi)

The Municipal Corporation in its General House meeting on Monday approved the proposal of the replacement of about 2,000 manhole covers in the city with cemented ones at a cost of Rs 75 lakh. The agenda was approved to preserve the heritage manhole covers, which are stolen to be auctioned in the international markets for lakhs for rupees. Thus, henceforth, the manhole covers will be preserved in the museum, while some will be kept in store.

Accortding to reports, several Le Corbusier-designed covers have been auctioned in foreign countries at high prices, ranging between between Rs 10 lakh and Rs 15 lakh. The city’s Sector 20 has the highest number of manhole covers, which is 78, which is followed by 77 manhole covers in Sector 8, as many as 76 in Sector 35 and 27 covers at Punjab Engineering College (PEC).

Officials of the department of Urban Planning said that the same designs could be replicated on the cemented manhole covers with the help of moulds. “They can make moulds from the existing ones and very easily the design can be transferred on the concrete,” the official said.

Approved pavers, tiles

The MC also decided that paver blocks of 60mm/80mm thickness will be installed at Pipliwala town in Manimajra at a cost of Rs 57.41 lakh. Of the total amount, about Rs 10 lakh will be spent on dismantling the existing concrete. Dismantling cement concrete in one part will cost Rs 6,17,550, while demolishing the concrete in another part will cost Rs 3,81,279.

At Sundarnagar of Mauli Jagran area, PCC tiles of Rs 76.91 lakh will be installed. At markets of sectors 27, 28 and 30, an amount of Rs 51.55 lakh will be spent on installation of new pavers blocks. In the main bazaar of Manimajra, 60 mm thick paver blocks will be installed amounting to Rs 98.66 lakh, of which Rs 15 lakh will be spent only on dismantling the existing ones.

Liquor vends agenda deferred

Meanwhile, Chandigarh Municipal Corporation general house deferred the agenda of alloting municipal land to liquor vends. The house decided that the Excise and Taxation department be asked for a proposal about the sites needed, following which the corporation will look into the feasibility of the praposal it is far off from the residential area.

BJP councillor Davesh Moudgil said that by no means should land be alloted to a liquor vend. However, Commissioner KK Yadav said, if the vend was away from the residential area, it should not been seen as a taboo to society and should be considered due to the Corporation’s financial state. Yadav said that it will earn a lot of revenue for the corporation. Congress councillor Devinder Singh Babla said that liquor vends have been a nuisance and the civic body should instead allot land to a super bazaar.

The civic body had raised the agenda of liquor vends in three units of the Food Street at Sector 48. Later, they had clarified that the proposal was for the corporation’s land anywhere, following which, councillors had sought a proposal from the Excise department.

Mayor’s farewell speech

It was also Mayor Rajesh Kalia’s last house meeting and he bid goodbye with a farewell speech, which stirred up a laughter riot, while the Mayor also darted jibes at few present in the meeting.

While thanking the councillors, Kalia passed a remark to Congress councillor Satish Kainth. He said, “Aankhen taras gayi tumhara khyal aa gaya, mere bhai ab to pyar karle naya saal aa gaya (My eyes have been longing and I have been thinking about it, my brother. At least show some love now, even the new year has arrived).” Kalia said that people have called him a history-sheeter, however, he came to improve upon, which he did.

To Arun Sood, Kalia remarked that he always begins with ‘Main batata hun (I will tell you)’, however, “Sab kuch vahi batayenge to Commissioner kya batayenge (If Arun Sood will tell everything, then what will the Commissioner tell).”

Panel for inspecting cow sheds

Over suspicion of corruption in the procurement of green fodder and the facilities being provided to cows in the gaushalas (cow sheds) despite spending crores, the house formed a five-member panel to inspect the gaushalas. The panel will inspect the amount of fodder being obtained and donated.

Mayor Kalia said told the staff that he was never given the log book when he asked to see it to know about fodder.

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