Ashok Sangwan, who was promoted to the Indian Administrative Service from the Haryana civil service in 2003, joined as the fifth commissioner of Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) in February this year.
Prior to this, Sangwan was posted as the deputy commissioner (DC) Yamunagar. MCG was formed in June 2008. Sangwan spoke to Sanjeev Ahuja. Excerpts:
Unlike NOIDA where the commissioner takes key decisions related to developmental projects and does not turn to the state capital Lucknow, why do all major projects in Gurgaon get the green signal only from Chandigarh and thereby get delayed?
We at Gurgaon can clear projects costing under Rone crore only and any project of higher value has to be sent to the Chandigarh head quarters for the necessary approvals and we cannot do away with this system which we have to follow.
It’s been almost five years since the MCG was formed but why are all the private townships such that fall under MCG jurisdiction yet to be brought under your control?
I acknowledge the fact that the MCG is yet to take over the privately developed localities but it is for the state government as well as the developers to take a call on this and act on the matter at the earliest in the larger interest of those staying there. Ideally we are supposed to maintain these townships in addition to the old municipal areas which we have been there for a long time.
Do you have the required paraphernalia in terms of men and machinery for maintaining the upscale townships?
At present we are short of staff which is just 50% of the sanctioned posts of MCG. We can certainly take care of the private townships as we have enough resources of revenue generation in terms of taxes and levies. But the problem is that the developers are not willing to hand over their townships to MCG.
The violations of court orders banning construction in the 900-meter restricted zone around the Indian Air Force ammunition depot are on the rise yet MCG has failed to check the menace. Why?
We have been carrying on demolition drives repeatedly and recommending filing of FIRs against the defaulters. Ironically, the construction takes place again after demolitions drives and therefore in addition to filing FIRs, we have decided to file contempt of court orders cases against those found rebuilding structures after demolition drives.
Why Gurgaon that has won the sobriquet of Millennium City with hundreds of Fortune500 companies not have public conveniences, footpaths for pedestrians, lanes for cyclists, foot over bridges for crossing busy roads and bus queue-shelters?
The action related to all these activities has taken off from our end. Very soon we are going to float a tender for a foot over bridge on Old Delhi Road, promote non-motorised transport factilities and start an exercise for widening roads for the same. We also have plans to set up public conveniences and Bus Q-shelters on BoT basis in the city. All this will be started in couple of months.