Taking serious note of the alleged irregularities committed by the park development committees in Panchkula, deputy commissioner (DC) Vivek Atray has marked an inquiry into the functioning of these committees.
The DC has asked Panchkula municipal corporation commissioner Jagdeep Dhanda to conduct the probe and submit report within two weeks.
Hindustan Times had earlier highlighted glaring irregularities in the functioning of these committees. MC executive officer (EO) Manendra Singh said the probe had been initiated and the report would be submitted at the earliest.
There are around 250 parks in the city, of which 175 are maintained by the MC through the park development committees and 82 by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA). The MC is shelling out `3 per square metre for the maintenance of parks while HUDA is paying only Rs 1 per square metre for upkeep of its parks.
Against the laid down norms, some committees have submitted backdated bills of a period of six to 12 months at one time, while in some cases, the bills were signed by the local councillors without mentioning the date and no monthly inspection was carried by the municipal engineers.
Besides, the bills were not signed by the municipal engineers and presidents and general secretaries of the committee in some cases. Some bills were accepted by the civic body without any agreement with the committee.
As per norms, the committees have to enter into an agreement with the civic body before starting any work and one person cannot be head of more than one committee.
Local legislator Gian Chand Gupta said one person heading more than one committee was in violation of norms. He added that the MC had failed to keep a check on how the funds were utilised by the committees and regular inspections were not carried out. He said that the functioning of these committees should be streamlined. "Some committees are blatantly flouting the norms and the authorities need to act against them," said Gupta.
Convenor of The People's Voice God's Voice Group BL Tandon has also lodged a complaint with Haryana chief minister and principal secretary-cum-commissioner, urban local bodies, demanding criminal action against the erring officials and members of the committees. He has also submitted copies of the bills and other documents along with the complaint.