More than two years after the row over bifurcation of Panchkula’s Municipal Corporation began in 2018, the Haryana Cabinet on Monday decided to bifurcate the civic body. Kalka will now have its own municipal council.
MLA Panchkula and speaker of Haryana assembly, Gian Chand Gupta, welcomed the move. “It was not rational to create a municipal corporation consisting of the three areas including Panchkula, Pinjore, and Kalka. The general public was facing the most problems in this system. People had to travel long distances for small tasks with the MC. At the same time, problems were faced in drawing up development plans. Now the city will be able to develop easily,” he said.
Gupta added there is a distance of about 19 kilometers between Panchkula and Kalka, with Pinjore in between.
In January 2018, a committee under the chairmanship of the Ambala Divisional Commissioner had recommended maintaining the corporation status for Panchkula, and separating Kalka and Pinjore from the Panchkula MC to have their own council.
The committee had been formed on the demand of the Urban Local Bodies department after the then Kalka MLA, Latika Sharma, had written to the Haryana Chief Minister, submitting that no development had taken place in Kalka and Pinjore.
She had asked for Pinjore and Kalka to be separated from the Panchkula civic body.
But before the cabinet could approve anything, MC councillor of ward 4 (which entails Pinore area of Kalka), Satinder Singh Tony, moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the recommendation.
The case filed in the first week of January 2018, had only five substantial hearings over a span of two years, compared to the 13 times it was listed to be heard.
No major hearings took place during the first four sessions. The High Court had earlier fixed the hearing for final disposal on November 16, 2019. However, the hearing was simply adjourned to February 3, 2020.
It was then that the court had disposed of the case, directing the state to decide the fate of Panchkula Municipal Corporation’s bifurcation, within six months.
While most of last term’s councilors welcomed the move, Satinder said that he will move the High Court against the order.
“I will move the court once a formal notice regarding the move is issued. I strongly stand against having a separate council for Kalka. A council gets almost no funds and moreover they cannot legally bifurcate the areas due to a population restraint,” Satinder told The Indian Express.
Lilly Bawa, councillor of ward 14 said, “I think everyone must welcome the move, whatever it may be. Panchkula has suffered long enough in the absence of a House.”
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