Some important functions of the Panchkula municipal corporation (MC) will be transferred to the Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) soon, leaving the civic body with mainly sanitation work.
As of now, the MC is responsible for maintenance of roads within its limits (both internal and main roads), upkeep of parks and streetlights, and sanitation and solid waste management. Of these works, maintenance of main roads and solid waste management are being transferred to Huda. Besides this, Huda has also been asked to construct and maintain public toilets in commercial areas in the city.
Lack of staff, technical expertise the reason
Sources said the request to transfer the functions was moved by Panchkula deputy commissioner (DC) Vivek Atray citing shortage of staff and lack of technical expertise.
The MC is short of staff by over 82% and is managing its affairs with mere 19 regular employees against the total sanctioned strength of 108.
The shortage of staff is affecting the overall efficiency of the civic body. Officials have held a couple of meetings in this regard and have agreed to transfer the works in principle. The final decision is expected to be taken shortly.
Mayor Upinder Kaur Walia said talks were in progress and final decision to transfer the works to Huda would be taken shortly.
The corporation had recently started the work of carpeting roads in the city. It has been marred by allegations of corruption and use of substandard material. The contractors had also halted the work after their partial payments were stopped.
The civic body's job of solid waste management is limited to dumping the waste in a low-lying temporary dumping ground at Sector 23, Panchkula. The ambitious project of setting up a solid waste management plant is hanging fire for the past many years.
Despite repeated attempts, the deputy commissioner was not available for comments.
RWA had raised demand
Unhappy with the poor delivery of services by the MC, the Residents' Welfare Association, Sector 12, had written to the DC, requesting him to transfer the maintenance of roads to Huda.
Association president Rakesh Aggarwal said Panchkula was like a mini capital of Haryana and the MC had failed to deliver due to acute shortage of staff and technical experts. On the contrary, Huda possesses adequate staff with technical expertise, he said.
"The condition of roads has worsened after their maintenance was handed over to the MC from Huda. Serious allegations of corruptions have also been levelled against MC officials,"said Aggarwal.