WITH SUGGESTIONS for names of community leaders set to outnumber the existing number of roundabouts, the four-member committee of the Panchkula Municipal Corporation has decided that the proposal for renaming of roads and roundabouts be put on hold indefinitely to prevent it from snowballing into a political issue causing resentment among communities.
The proposal was initially tabled in the House meeting of the corporation in December last year. The House referred the proposal to a four-member committee, including Mayor Upinder Kaur Ahluwalia. At a meeting held recently, the committee decided against the proposal in view of a large number of recommendations from different communities.
As first reported in Chandigarh Newsline on December 13, 2015, it was proposed that Madhya Marg starting from Chandigarh Housing Board Chowk to Sector 12, Panchkula, be renamed as Maharaja Agarsen Marg, Majri Chowk as Sir Chhotu Ram Chowk, the road from Majri Chowk to Sector 17-18 be renamed as Sir Chhotu Ram Marg, and Sector 12-12A-14 roundabout as Maharishi Valmiki Chowk.
However, as word went out, several other communities put forward their recommendations for renaming roundabouts after their leaders, including Guru Jambeshwar, Guru Gobind Singh and Guru Ravi Dass.
“Itne roundabouts hi nahi hai, jitne dharam aur sansthayein aa gayi (The number of roundabouts is lesser than the recommendations received for renaming them). So, it was difficult to choose. It would have caused resentment among those communities, whose names were rejected, and an unnecessary political debate,” said ward no. 9 councillor C B Goel, a member of the committee.
Highlighting that more communities are likely to come forward in near future, Mayor Ahluwalia said that it was deemed fit to keep the proposal aside. “Every community wants their leader’s name to be highlighted, so we decided that the proposal be kept aside,” she added.
The issue stemmed from a suggestion by ward no. 15 councillor Omwati Poonia that a roundabout be renamed after Bhagwan Parshuram, which was unanimously approved by the House. In the next House meeting held in December, the civic body received another proposal for renaming at least four roads and roundabouts after community leaders.
Amidst opposition from various quarters, including residents, who said the move was aimed at reaping political benefits, the House had referred the proposal to the committee.
Taking a step further, the MC is mulling over inviting Expression of Interest (EOI) from private companies or organisations which are willing to maintain the roundabouts. “Our main aim is to beautify the roundabouts, and not create a controversy by making it a community-centric issue,” said Bhawna Gupta, councillor, ward no. 10.
“Ya to sabke naam approve karo, ya kissi ke bhi nahi (Accept all, or reject all). There should not be any discrimination against communities or undue representation given to one over the other,” said councillor Vinod Kumar, who had demanded that a roundabout be named after Valmiki.