Outsourcing is generally considered to be a low-cost solution to things an organisation would not normally find cost-effective to do by itself.
However, in the case of SAS Nagar municipal corporation, its decision to outsource anti-encroachment drives has proved to be a costlier alternative, if the performance of the first month of the new scheme is anything to go by.
The corporation is paying Rs 4.5 lakh per month to the Panchkula-based private agency, Global Securex, to check the encroachments in the township, yet not a single illegal shanty or occupation has been removed. The company started surveying and warning encroachers on July 18, but despite getting daily reports from the agency, MC has not started challaning encroachers. The worst-affected areas in the township where encroachments are a regular affair, include Phases 1, 4, 5, 3B2, 10 and 11. More than 2,000 illegal shops and rehris have mushroomed at these places.
MC commissioner Uma Shankar Gupta said, “We will start challaning the violators from August 18. We will impose a fine of `500 in the first instance, and double it every time. We have already issued notices to malba owners and violators who have defaced the city.”
Another senior officer of the MC, on the condition of anonymity, said the residents had great expectations from the agency, but till date no results are there. “Facing a severe staff crunch and continuous complaints of encroachments pouring in from various parts of the township, the civic body hired a private agency, but it seems the civic body has fallen asleep,” the officer added.
Samraat Sharma, sales manager of the company, said, “We are giving daily reports to the MC so that they can challan the encroachers. Since the number of illegal shops and rehris is quite large, it will take some time. We are keeping a record of all encroachment areas in the township and have maintained a database.”
Congress MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu said it seemed that the civic body was just shelling out a whopping amount of Rs 4.5 lakh per month, even as there was no relief. MC officials were not acting against the encroachments for reasons best known to them.