Chandigarh: Muncipal Councillors lose trust in sub-panels

  • Hillary Victor, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Mar 18, 2015 08:44 IST

Even though the municipal corporation (MC) sub-panels are approved by the UT administration every year, councillors feel they are just eyewash, as most of the agendas approved in these panels are never implemented.

They say these panels hold meetings just twice or thrice in a year against the mandatory 12 meetings. Pertinent that these sub-panels have the financial power of approving projects worth Rs 15 lakh, while the road committee has the power to approve projects worth Rs 25 lakh.

Last week, UT administrator Vijay Dev had approved 11 sub-committees of the MC for the period of one year.

Interestingly, Congress councillor Mukesh Bassi and nominated councillor Sat Paul Bansal have asked the mayor to remove their names from these committees. While Bassi, who was the member of the house tax committee, has said the committee is of no use because matters pertaining to the house tax are always approved in the House meets, Bansal has written that his name should be removed from all four committees, saying most of the agendas approved by the panels in past three years were never implemented.

Speaking to HT, Bassi said, "It seems the councillors just waste their time in attending these meeting, as they are not useful. We approve the agendas which are never implemented. It's better we concentrate on our ward's development."

Nominated councillor Surinder Bahga, who was member of the fire committee last year, said, "It was unfortunate that despite of major fire incidents, only two meetings were held. We made several recommendations after visiting all seven fire stations of the city, and made recommendations for the complete overhaul of the department. But, nothing has moved since then."

Agreeing that lesser number of meetings were held last year, former mayor Subhash Chawla said, "Most of the agendas are above the prescribed amount of the committee, which can be approved in the House or the finance and contract committee. We urge the concerned authorities to increase the financial power of these committees from Rs 15 lakh to Rs 40 lakh."

On the other hand, chairmen of these committees blame the members for not attending the meeting which are scheduled for every month.

Nominated councillor Major DS Sandhu (retd), who was chairman of water supply committee, said, "It is a herculean task to complete the quorum of five. Members do not turn up despite repeated requests. What is the use of forming such panels if the members don't show any interest."

Former mayor Harjinder Kaur said, "Most of time, the members concerned are too busy in their areas that they do not give priority to the sub-panel meetings, and we are forced to postpone the meetings."

The working of the MC is based on the committee system under which various sub-committees dealing with specified subjects are formed. These committees are given financial and other powers to carry out the work. The cases involving financial implication beyond a certain limit, and those involving policy decisions, are referred to the general body meeting of the MC.

Meetings held last year

Committee Number of meetings
Fire committee 2
City beautification 1
Enforcement 1
Slum development 1
Women empowerment 3
Water supply 4

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