The municipal corporation (MC) Monday passed a budget of Rs 39 crore for the year 2014-15 in the House meet held here in Sector 1. The meeting was chaired by Mayor Upinder Ahluwalia, along with Executive Officer O P Sihag. The civic body had proposed a budget of Rs 74 crore for the development works in the city.
At the meeting, the councillors approved allowing development works in “unauthorised” colonies. The agenda was passed after several councillors indulged had a heated argument with the Mayor over the issue. They claimed that development work had been halted in their wards as these consisted of unauthorised colonies. Though the agenda was passed, Ahluwalia told the councillors that a survey was being conducted by the state government to decide on whether to regularise the unauthorised colonies.
In the budget that was approved, the House had sanctioned different amount for each ward. The councillors contended that a uniform amount should be sanctioned for all wards and therefore, the House approved Rs 3 crore for each ward. The House also reserved an amount of Rs 10 crore, in case any ward falls short of the money.
Another agenda that was passed in the House was that public toilets be constructed in the city, the maintenance of which be delinked with Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA). The issue of setting up of mobile towers in residential colonies was also brought up, and the councillors unanimously decided against the same.
Other issues that were raised in the House included broken roads in Sector 8, non-functional street lights from Sector 2 to 4 and Sector 11 to 12, and poor repair work in order for better sewerage conditions in Saketri, Abheypur and Haripur villages.
At the House meet which was held to discuss the budget on Monday, a major ruckus was created after councillors, present for the meeting, staged a walkout protesting the “ill treatment” meted out to them. Protesting against Mayor Upinder Ahluwalia, the councillors contended that the seating arrangement at the meet was an “insult” to them as there were no tables for them, but only for the Mayor and others chairing the meeting.
Chaos broke out after the councillors alleged that they were not provided copies of the proposed budget two days ago, rather it was given just five minutes before the House meet was to start. Councillor Ravi Kant Swami, being the most vocal, said, “Even kids studying in nursery are provided with tables along with chairs.” They also complained that no packaged drinking water was provided to them at the meet.
The meeting was disrupted for about an hour because of the protest and the walkout.
Mayor Ahluwalia tried to calm down the angry councillors by accepting that it was a management error on her part and that the meeting be resumed. The councillors, however, demanded an apology from her. It was only after Senior Deputy Mayor S S Nanda intervened and acted as a mediator, that the councillors returned to the meeting.