With all 35 councillors finally sworn in on Tuesday, Gurgaon residents officially got a chance to see their elected representatives in the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG).
Congress candidate Vimal Yadav, 32, was elected as the first city mayor and he defeated his opponent Seema Pahuja by a huge margin.
Parminder Kataria was elected deputy mayor and Yashpal Batra was chosen senior deputy mayor. They belong to the Congress though they had contested as independent candidates in the municipal elections.
The development assumes significance as it is going to change the functioning of the municipal corporation with more focus on development and better civic facilities.
In the last three years, all budgets, projects and fund allocations were decided by the MCG commissioner, an IAS officer. But the scenario is set to change as the people's representatives will now decide the fate of all civic issues.
Now, if a plan is passed in the House related to roads, sewage or educational institutions, it will be binding on the civic body to release funds for its implementation.
The elected members' body hopes to get the maximum budget approvals from the Haryana government for the development of the district.
“Gurgaon generates half of the total revenue of Haryana. We want that money to be spent within the city rather than routing it elsewhere in the state,” said Rao Inderjit Singh, the Member of Parliament (MP) from Gurgaon.
The budget is approved by the state government on the basis of recommendations by the elected corporation members. A five-member finance and contract committee — consisting of the mayor, senior deputy mayor, deputy mayor and two member — approves the expenditure. The committee's two other members are yet to be elected.
As per the Haryana Municipal Corporation Act 1994, the MCG commissioner would have to approach the mayor for the approval of expenditure under the limit of the allocated budget by the state government.
The election has brought more hope for residents of ward 4, comprising sectors 21, 22, 23, 23A and Palam Vihar, which is the mayor’s constituency.
The areas, which hitherto were neglected, can now look forward to better civic amenities as both the mayor and the deputy mayor belong to these areas. “Parminder Kataria and Vimal Yadav (mayor) both belong to our ward and we have a lot of expectations from this young team,” said Ravi Wahi, a resident of Palam Vihar.
Many residents, however, were apprehensive about the performance of the elected leaders.