The fate of 80 public toilets in various markets of Chandigarh is hanging in balance as members of the Finance and Contract Committee of the municipal corporation has taken a U-turn from the decision of allotting them to the market welfare associations.
The members, who had approved the agenda in the May 29 meeting, now say the committee does not have financial competence as it has financial powers to approve projects worth Rs 35 lakh only, while the agenda of maintenance and operation of toilets is more than Rs 1 crore. The issue will now come up in the monthly House meeting scheduled in end of month.
The F and CC had handed over toilets to 59 market welfare associations at the rate of Rs 12,500 per month.
However, MC joint commissioner Rajeev Gupta said, “The members felt that the decision was taken in haste as the committee does not have the requisite financial powers. We will take the agenda in the monthly House meeting for discussion.”
A senior official of the MC on the condition of anonymity said the chief engineer had taken the decision to terminate the earlier contract in haste and cover up his mistake. The toilets were handed over to market welfare associations without considering the aspect of maintenance and regular upkeep of these toilets. The condition of toilets has deteriorated in the last one month and there are regular complaints from visitors regarding their upkeep.
F and CC member Malkiat Singh said it is unfortunate that senior officers do not even know financial powers of the committee. Tabling such an agenda in the committee is a total waste of time, he said.
MONTH ON, 21 TOILETS STILL CLOSED
Even a month after locking 80 public toilets on the high court directions, the Chandigarh municipal corporation is able to hand over only 59 toilets to market welfare associations, while 21 are still locked causing great inconvenience to public.
The MC, on May 11, had locked these toilets across the city markets after the Punjab and Haryana high court directed the agency, which was operating and maintaining them, to hand them over to the civic body.