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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Uncut grass, unhygienic conditions: Civic affairs of Panchkula in tatters

Even though as many as 40 men were recently hired by the Municipal Corporation (MC) for the purpose of pruning trees and maintaining the greens, their duties are yet to be reflected on the ground.

Written by Pallavi Singhal | Panchkula |
October 24, 2021 3:18:45 am
panchkula haryanaBushes on the road near Command hospital (Express Photo by Jaipal Singh)

Once hailed to be the Paris of Haryana, Panchkula—one of the youngest and a planned cities—is now on its way to become a giant patch of wilderness.

The dividers are replete with grasses, weeds and shrubs, the roundabouts – built at a cost of crores – are poorly maintained. Tiles can be seen breaking off of edges. The bicycle stands are lush green with unpruned trees and the curbs derelict.

All of this could have made for a beautiful forest, except that Panchkula is a city.

Even though as many as 40 men were recently hired by the Municipal Corporation (MC) for the purpose of pruning trees and maintaining the greens, their duties are yet to be reflected on the ground.

“While dengue is fast spreading in Panchkula, with around 400 reported dengue cases and many unreported, unruly weeds, bushes, congress grass and parthenium in the city is contributing spread of dengue larvae. It is really shocking that despite three dengue deaths, in a particular block Sector 10, one can witness overgrown bushes, within a month. This makes us feel like we are living in the jungle after paying urban taxes. An immediate pruning of trees in all the 243 parks of Panchkula is immediately required, so that the spread of dengue may be prevented,” said Bharat Hiteshi, Chairman of the House Owners Welfare Association Sector 10.

It must be noted that it has only been 10 months since Panchkula went to polls with the municipal elections. The citizens were promised a “clean, green and self-sufficient city” by BJP’s mayoral candidate as well as local MLA and speaker of Haryana assembly Gian Chand Gupta.

The elected representatives, however, remain unbothered. Mayor Kulbhushan Goyal, in his manifesto released at the time of MC elections in 2020 had assured people of development works in Panchkula Corporation. He had claimed that development works worth crores of rupees have been done by the BJP government in rural areas of Panchkula.

“The BJP government is continuously working to improve the standard of living of the people. Rs 100 crore was collected by the MC through different means and also given by the central government. There is a BJP government at the center and in the state and Gian Chand Gupta is the Speaker and local MLA. If people elect the mayor from BJP in MC, they shall see the real development of their city,” he had said. The mayor had made further promises including the “overall development of Panchkula on the lines of a smart city,” but the hollow promises are yet to reflect in action.

“In the area of Mansa Devi Complex Sector 4, there are 15 to 20 feet high unruly bushes. These bushes are on the back side of societies number 34 to 38 along the railway line. People use this space to defecate, resulting in the area being filthy and prone to mosquitoes. Despite many requests to the MC authorities, no action has been initiated,” said Vijay Gupta, President, RWA MDC Sector 5.

“The long grasses reflect the hygiene conditions. MC has failed to keep its promise. No proper measures are being taken by the MC to keep the Sector 20 area clean and hygienic. Also, in front of Kundi village, the situation is pathetic. The mayor as well as commissioner seem least bothered. Grass is even spreading all over the paths of nearby societies. Urgent measures are needed to keep the city a city and not turn it into the wild,” said Yoginder Kwatra, RWA, Sector 20, Panchkula.

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