In the wake of allegations of discrimination levelled by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) against the Amritsar municipal corporation (MC) authorities and Amritsar improvement trust (AIT), Punjab revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia has directed the local officials to be 'fair' in their dealings with the councillors.
Majithia gave his directive to the MC and AIT officials at a special meeting convened here on Monday.
The SAD councillors had charged the MC and the AIT with giving preference to the wards of BJP councillors and ignoring their wards as far as the development of the city was concerned.
Besides, they had also levelled charges of anomalies in the implementation of the advertising policy, hiring of tractor trolleys for lifting of garbage and construction of illegal buildings in the city against the MC authorities.
"The MC and the AIT had been ignoring the wards of the SAD councillors as far as development was concerned. The minister summoned the municipal commissioner and AIT chairman and directed them both to be fair in their dealings with all the councillors and ensure that none of the wards in the city are discriminated against," said Surinder Singh Sultanwind, the leader of the SAD councillors.
Hailing the intervention of Majithia in the matter, he said that this would go a long way in ensuring all-round development of the city. While municipal commissioner Pradeep Sabharwal was unavailable for his comments on the issue, AIT chairman Sandeep Rishi said that he did not attend the meeting, but definitely received a phone call from Majithia.
"The Minister asked me to ensure fairness in the dealings of the AIT with all councillors," said Rishi. Stating that the issue had more to do with the MC than with the AIT, Rishi said that the allegations had stemmed from the fact that there were a few wards where lesser funds had been invested by the AIT for development.
"The AIT tries to ensure fairness in its dealing with all the elected representatives, but oversights do occur at some point or the other," he said.
Chief parliamentary secretary Inderbir Singh Bolaria was also present on the occasion.
Bhagtanwala Dump should be shifted
Supporting the demand of chief parliamentary secretary Inderbir Singh Bolaria for shifting the garbage dump from Bhagatanwala, Majithia said, "This is a serious and sensitive issue as the health of the residents is at stake. The Amritsar municipal corporation should find an alternative site for the dump, away from populated areas," he said.