MC House slams UT ‘dictatorship’, turns down moves on paid parking, house tax in 5 villageshttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/mc-house-slams-ut-dictatorship-turns-down-moves-on-paid-parking-house-tax-in-5-villages/

MC House slams UT ‘dictatorship’, turns down moves on paid parking, house tax in 5 villages

With the approval of Mayor Poonam Sharma, the House went on to permit all the stall owners everywhere at the markets after paying fee to the MC.

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At the Municipal Corporation House meeting in Chandigarh on Thursday. (Express Photo by: Jasbir Malhi)

DESCRIBING THE interference of the Chandigarh Administration in their decisions as ‘dictatorship’, the Municipal Corporation on Thursday opposed and rejected several decisions taken by the former.

Not only the new proposal of paid parking and imposition of property tax in five villages was turned down by them, but decisions of giving financial powers of Rs 25 lakh to the Commissioner and putting SDMs as incharge was also stated as ‘completely wrong’.

Rejecting the orders of Home Secretary Anurag Aggarwal about limiting the number of stalls and not allowing any in the parking lots during the festive season, the House unanimously approved permitting all stalls during the festivals.

“We all are representatives of the public. How can somebody sitting in an air-conditioned office decide things when we are out in the field and public talks to us? These small vendors come once a year to earn their livelihood and we don’t allow them,” said councillor Arun Sood.

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With the approval of Mayor Poonam Sharma, the House went on to permit all the stall owners everywhere at the markets after paying fee to the MC.

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The councillors opposed the decisions taken by the administration. “Why was the Commissioner given financial power of Rs 25 lakh? Was an SDM put over us to keep a check? The employees first have to brief their own bosses, then the MC officials and then the SDM,” said councillor Davesh Moudgil.

The councillors expressed resentment over the visits of the administration and MC officers to their wards without informing them.

There was further resentment over a message from Municipal Commissioner Bhawna Garg, who is on a tour to Copenhagen, sent to Joint Commissioner Rajiv Gupta saying that new parking terms will be convenient for the public and the issue should be resolved.

With the MC Commissioner exercising her financial powers and going ahead with proposals in some sectors like allowing swings in Sector 17 ‘without any approval’ (as per the councillors), the same was objected to. The decisions of the Commissioner by exercising her financial powers and without informing the councillors were opposed. The councillors said that as per the Municipal Act, the order of hierarchy was the House, then Finance and Contract Committee and then the Commissioner. Councollor Saurabh Joshi showed an advertisement of renting out streetlight poles for Rs 500 per month which, he said, the House was not aware of.

Decisions and proposals rejected

* Increasing paid parking lots from 26 to 93 and rates from Rs 5 to Rs 10 for four-wheelers and Rs 2 to Rs 5 for two-wheelers.
* House tax proposed in villages Maloya, Kajheri, Dadu Majra, Hallo Majra and Palsora.
* Limiting number of stalls.
* Visits by administration officers, including Adviser, without informing the area councillor opposed.
* Giving financial powers of Rs 25 lakh to Commissioner.

‘Convenience of the citizens is paramount’

As per the provisions of the Municipal Act, the resolutions by the Municipal Corporation are sent to the Administration for approval. The administration can reject or accept the resolutions.

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UT Home Secretary Anurag Aggarwal said, “For administration, the convenience of the citizens is paramount. Not just administration but MC should also make sure that citizens don’t face inconvenience. Let me get the resolution passed by them, examine the MC Act and see what can be done. We are hopeful that these issues would be resolved.”