THE meeting of the General House of the Municipal Corporation was adjourned on Monday following a ruckus over the issuance of more than 400 free parking passes in the mayors name.
The proceedings of the House were disrupted a number of times. Finally,the mayor adjourned the House. With the Congress not having any explanation about the passes issued in the mayors name,a resolution was moved that all the parking passes issued to date in all categories would be cancelled. No other agenda item could be taken up for discussion in the House thereafter.
The issue of parking passes was taken up as the reply of a question asked by BJP councillor Arun Sood. He had asked for details of the number of parking passes issued,free parking passes which the councillors were entitled to and the number of passes issued to the mayor.
The reply revealed that a total of 3,020 passes were printed. A total of 400 passes were printed in the category of councillors. Of these,222 were issued in the name of Mayor Raj Bala Malik. She was also issued 131 passes in the category of former councillors as well as 35 in the category of officers. The remaining 18 were samples she had got in all the categories. A total of 406 passes were issued in the name of the mayor. The senior deputy mayor as well as deputy mayor have 11 passes each to their name. A councillor is entitled to five passes.
The BJP termed it a scam,saying public money was squandered on issuing parking passes. Sood said considering the cost of the monthly passes,a large sum of public money was misused. He demanded that the mayor should either pay an amount equivalent to the cost of 401 parking passes excluding the five she is entitled to get or tender her resignation.
Congress councillor Subhash Chawla blamed the officers for supplying information only to target the mayor. The data of the previous years has not been provided. The officers want to defame the mayor. The data from 2002 when the passes were first issued should also be analysed, he said.
Heated arguments were witnessed throughout the proceedings. The BJP-SAD councillors raised slogans in the House. After two breaks as the meeting resumed again,nominated councillor Sat Paul Bansal moved a resolution that the free parking passes issued to date should be cancelled. This was seconded by BSP councillor Jannat Jahan-ul-Haq.
Earlier in the day,Union Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal,who was present at the meeting,suggested that all the parking passes should be cancelled. Mayor Malik said the passes could be cancelled as the issue started heating up.
The BJP said since the contract for printing was given to a private printer,there was no check on the number of passes that he could have printed and sold off. Chawla admitted that the printer was his relative,but if he had printed even one pass extra than what was approved then heavy penalty should be imposed.
Discussions were held between the councillors outside the House as well. However,with no conclusion being reached,the House was adjourned.