The Punjab government on Tuesday issued a notification according the status of corporation to Hoshiarpur city. With one more district adding up to the list, the number of corporations in the state is now 10. The government had earlier upgraded Moga, Pathankot and Phagwara to corporations.
The tenure of the Hoshiarpur municipal council had ended in July this year. The matter had been hanging fire since long but due to one reason or the other, the announcement was delayed. At present, there are 31 wards in the city and recently the government had issued a notification for the formation of four more wards, whereas as per municipal law, a corporation must have at least 50 wards.
Tikshan Sud, a former minister and now adviser to the chief minister, who has been instrumental in getting the municipal body upgraded to a corporation, said many panchayats of adjoining villages had already given their consent to join the corporation, hence paving the way for delimitation.
“New wards will be created by redrawing existing ones on the basis of population and concentration of voters,” he said.
Rajya Sabha member Avinash Rai Khanna welcomed the upgrade, saying that it would boost development. Local Congress MLA Sunder Sham Arora also welcomed the announcement but demanded that the government ensure basic amenities to the people before going ahead. “The government should recruit the required number of safai karamcharis and other staff. The purpose of elevating the council would be defeated if basic amenities are not provided,” he added.
Just a gimmick: Oppn
Various opposition parties have, however, expressed displeasure over the development. “People should now be prepared for more tax burden and bureaucratic hassles,” said Socialist Party (India) national vice-president Balwant Singh Khera, adding that a city with a population of 1.68 lakh did not deserve to be elevated to a corporation. “It is a political gimmick,” remarked Aam Aadmi Party spokesman Naveen Jairath.
What is in store?
*Next election will be held as per corporation norms.
*Delimitation of wards. The number of wards will increase from existing 31 to at least 50.
*All civic administration and services will come under the municipal corporation, reducing dependence on other departments.
*An IAS officer would be appointed commissioner.
*The amount of budget would increase. The current budget is a little over R30 crore.
*Monthly pay of mayors will rise.