Chandigarh: Councillors shout bias in paver block installation

  • Hillary Victor, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Apr 16, 2015 09:58 IST

Some municipal corporation (MC) councillors have cried paver block bias, claiming that the civic body officials are installing tiles only in the wards of influential representatives, and were ignoring their constituencies on the plea that UT administration had banned it.

The fact is that in a meeting of coordination committee held on July 2, 2013, the then UT adviser KK Shama expressed the desire to encourage installation of green paver blocks, but no ban was imposed ever. Mayor Poonam Sharma has now constituted a committee to frame a policy in this regard.

Paver blocks or interlocking tiles are brick-like pieces of concrete commonly used for exterior flooring <> like pedestrian paths.

Major DS Sandhu (retd) said, "It is unfortunate that the councillors who have say in the civic body get their work done. The officials are misinterpreting the minutes of the coordination committee meeting held in July 2013, saying that, UT administration has banned laying of paver blocks, but were not banned for influential councillors."

But KK Sharma never banned laying of paver blocks, and had suggested MC to encourage its laying, which MC never did. Till date, green paver blocks have been laid at Paryavaran Bhawan in Sector 18 and behind office of Registration and Licensing Authority in Sector 17.

Senior deputy mayor Rajesh Gupta said, "The sad part is that, in 2013, they approved paver blocks for Sector 33 and 20, but they never installed them saying that, they were banned. Why were they banned in my ward only, and are installing them in wards of influential councillors. They should not adopt pick-and-choose policy.

Surprisingly, MC has not formed any policy on laying of blocks in the past decade. As such, the blocks are laid as per the whims and fancies of the councillors, who seem to be in a race to get them installed in their wards. Since 2002, the civic body has spent nearly Rs 35 crore on the blocks."

Independent councillor Gurcharan Dass Kalaa said, "Why officers discriminate between councillors? I have requested them several times to lay the tiles in my area, but nothing has been done on the past two years. They say administration has banned it, but they are approving agendas for laying paver blocks in areas of other councillors."

Official take

NP Sharma, superintending engineer, road wing, MC said, "There is no such ban, but indiscriminate use of paver blocks has been stopped. Now, we are framing a policy in this regard and will lay tiles as per the policy."

Long and short paver block installation

In coordination committee's meeting held on July 2, 2013, UT adviser KK Sharma expresses the desire to install green paver blocks in city officials misinterpret minutes of coordination committee's meeting held in July 2013, saying administration has banned laying of paver blocks

Till date, paver blocks have been laid at Paryavaran Bhawan, Sector 18 and behind Registration and Licensing Authority office, Sector 17

In 2013, paver blocks for Sector 33 and 20 were approved, but were never installed

Since 2002, the MC has spent nearly Rs 35 crore on blocks.

Right To information (RTI) activist RK Garg, in a communiqué to the UT Adviser Vijay Kumar Dev, has pointed out irregularities in the working of Rock Garden demanding high-level inquiry into the matter.

Garg has demanded that a high-level enquiry and special audit by auditor general (AG), Punjab, should be ordered to find out the real working of Rock Garden.

After the special audit report, if found appropriate Rock Garden Society may be merged with tourism or any other department of UT administration within the present set up, so that entire funds are deposited in government account, and become subject to accountability and audit.

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