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HindustanTimes Thu,28 Aug 2014

At 11th hour, MC cancels bookings at community centre

Hillary Victor, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, August 27, 2013
First Published: 11:28 IST(27/8/2013) | Last Updated: 11:37 IST(27/8/2013)

The Chandigarh municipal corporation has cancelled all 20 bookings at the community centre of Sector 15 till further orders, leaving many people in the lurch, some of whom had even got wedding invitations printed. Reason: the centre needs to be renovated.

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Not only have the bookings, some made as far back as June, been cancelled but the MC has not even bothered to inform people. At the last minute, finding a booking in other centres is quite hard, which means many people will have to look towards SAS Nagar or Panchkula or private banquets that charge exorbitant proces.

Kuber Madan, who had booked the community centre for his wedding scheduled for October 19, said, "I got the booking on June 18, but before cancelling the authorities did not even inform me. I got to know from a cousin. Why did the MC book the date if there were plans to renovate the centre?"

Prem Singh, whose daughter's wedding is on October 13, had even got invites printed: "All hell has broken loose as far as our wedding arrangements are concerned."

As for Harish Kumar, who booked the centre for his October 14 wedding, he was not even aware of the cancellation. He told HT, "I am learning about it from you. I have got the cards printed and called up the relatives. Redoing all that is hard enough, but the major problem is that I'll have to now look for an alternative."

When contacted, MC's officer on special duty-2 Varinder Salgotra shifted the blame: "We had written to the road wing (which is to carry out the renovation) that people who have already booked the centre should be allowed to hold functions, but we have not got any reply. There is a provision that in exceptional cases the bookings can be cancelled; but we will still try our best to provide with alternatives centres."

But area councillor Saurabh Joshi was livid: "Why did they book the dates that they are now using for renovation work? It is unfortunate that MC officials lack coordination. On the one hand, they are booking functions; on the other, they floated tenders for renovation."

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