It is a gardener, Pradeep Singh of Saketri village, on whose petition for closure of drain through his house led to the commencement of dissolution of Panchkula municipal corporation (MC).
The high court had directed the state government to invoke Section 400 of Haryana Municipal Corporation Act, 1994, by which notice is issued to MC asking for why it should not be dissolved. After that the government could declare the corporation to be incompetent or in default or to have exceeded or abused its powers, as the case may be, and dissolve it.
The family of Pradeep Singh lives by the drain. It is full of waste water. There is no sewerage connection in Saketri and waste water of village flows through it.
The family says the stink becomes unbearable during the morning and the rains when the sewerage overflows into their courtyard. This also makes it hard in giving the house on rent. Earlier, the HC had issued notice to deputy comissioner Gauri Prashar Joshi for personal hearing on Singh’s petition.
The court had also framed other civic issues in Panchkula. One was whether any ban with regard to plastic bag had been issued and if yes, it is implemented or not? The second issue was how many garbage bins had been installed in each sector, and what was the process of collection and disposal of the same. The third issue was how much budget had been allocated for repairing the road and what kind of material and specifications were being used for repairing of the roads. The fourth issue was about steps being taken to prevent the spread of diseases like malaria, chikungunya and dengue.
Pradeep Singh said he had given complaints to a number of authorities, including Panchkula MC, but no one came to his help. He had even approached CM’s window, but in vain. “I continued to visit various authorities for one year. Only after that we decided to approach the high court,” he said.
“The drain is flowing here for the past 18-19 years but we made the house some years ago. Only 130 feet of drain needs to be covered.”
On April 19, when engineer Mandeep Singh present in the high court apprised that laying of sewerage was within the domain of department of public health and HUDA, as owing to the shortage of staff the work cannot be undertaken, the court found that no such letter to any other department to do the needful was written.
The court observed, “It is strange that the municipal corporation has taken assistance of a private agency in ascertaining the report for addressing the issues of the petitioner without calling upon the sewerage department of the state or HUDA, and spent ₹10,000 which could have been saved.”