Panchkula municipal corporation (MC) seems to be in no mood to debate important civic issues and take corrective measures to address them. Since it came into being in July 2013, the civic body held only six house meetings to discuss various issues pertaining to residents of the district.
Two house meetings were held in 2013, while the elected representatives met three times in the last year. This year, only one meeting has been held in March so far. As per norms, a house meeting has to be convened once a month.
Councillor of Industrial Area Ravi Kant Swami said there were so many issues that need to be addressed. “Despite repeated requests, the house meeting is not convened regularly. How are we going to find solutions to the problems faced by the residents, if we don’t meet?” questioned Swami.
Councillor of Sector 14 Lilly Bawa said the norms were being trampled upon by the officials by not holding the house meeting. “It shows that the authorities are least bothered about the residents’ welfare. It’s the councillors who have to face the ire of the residents of their respective area,” said Bawa.
The civic body is responsible for the maintenance of roads within its limits (both internal and main roads), upkeep of parks and streetlights, sanitation and solid waste management.
The road carpeting work started more than two months back, but the work allocated in the first phase is yet to see the light of day. Almost all the city roads need repair and the carpeting is being done after a long gap of over a decade. The issues related to sanitation and non-functional streetlights at many places are also hanging fire.
The house meetings are chaired by the mayor, while the meeting is convened by the commissioner. Mayor Upinder Kaur accepted that the house meeting should ideally be held once a month. “I have been writing to commissioner for fixing a date for the next meeting,” she claimed. Despite repeated attempts, MC commissioner SP Arora was not available for comments.
Lack of staff, technical expertise
Due to lack of staff and technical expertise, the local administration has started the process of shifting some important functions of the MC to the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA).
Maintenance of main roads and solid waste management are being transferred to HUDA, leaving the MC with maintenance of internal roads, upkeep of parks, streetlights and sanitation. The request to transfer the functions was moved by Panchkula deputy commissioner (DC) Vivek Atray, citing shortage of staff and technical expertise.
President of Sector 12 Resident Welfare Association Rakesh Aggarwal said before the MC came into being, all the works were with HUDA. “Things were a lot better when the HUDA was handling the jobs, which were later transferred to the MC,” said Aggarwal.