Industries, including that in the information technology (IT) sector, in Chandigarh seems to have slipped down the priority list of the administration since UT administrator Shivraj Patil on Friday unequivocally asserted that the authorities would like to give a fillip to government health and education sectors and not the industrial sector.
Interacting with mediapersons on the sidelines of the sixth advisory council meeting, the UT administrator categorically said that authorities wanted the new industry to come up in Panchkula and SAS Nagar.
During the meeting, members of the advisory council urged the UT administration to optimality put to use whatever land was available in the city.
On the other hand, the administration vowed to make extra efforts in meeting the land requirement of institutions like Panjab University and Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER).
For their further expansions, the Chandigarh administration decided to give them land, the location of which was yet to be decided.
Patil said that the focus was to further improve the existing health service and education facilities in the city. "For this, we are ready to provide any assistance to educational and health institutes," said Patil.
It is pertinent to mention here that the administration has already earmarked 152 acres for Phase III of industrial area in Mauli Jagran.
Recently, the administration had also conducted a survey in Phase I and Phase II of industrial area to ascertain the health of existing industry, with an aim to check the viability of developing the proposed Phase III.
According to the survey, more than 40% of industrial plots in Phase I and II, allotted for setting up manufacturing units, were either used for activities other than manufacturing or were lying vacant even 40 years after the earmarking of separate area for industries. According to senior officials, the administration was now contemplating scarping Phase III plan.
The administration had set up phases I and II during 1970s on 147 acres. Plots were originally allotted for setting up manufacturing units, but a large number of allottees have used the land for commercial purposes other than manufacturing over the years.
Unhappy with the decision of the administration, Chandigarh Beopar Mandal (CBM) president Charanjit Singh, also a member of the advisory council, stressed the need to create congenial environment for the growth and expansion of industry rather than discouraging new ventures.
Sanjay Tandon, president of the local unit of the BJP, had heated debate with the administrator over various issues related to city residents and traders. Tandon demanded that there was a need for proper follow-ups on suggestions and recommendations made during the meeting. "I made several suggestions and proposals in the initial meetings and they are still pending," said Tandon. He further added that there was no point in holding such meetings if there were no proper follow-ups.
He called for preparation of action-taken reports and said efforts should be made to take relevant issues to logical conclusion. Tandon was at loggerheads with the administrator for not resolving the issue of enhanced misuse charges being imposed by the estate office for violation of the building bylaws. He also asked the administration to implement Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development (MSMED) Act, 2006, in toto.
Garage must in big houses
To address the problem of parking in residential areas of the city, the administration is all set to make construction of garages mandatory in houses bigger than one kanal.
The council members also demanded that community parking areas should be developed in different parts of the city to address the every increasing problem of parking.
In the past, the municipal corporation had mooted three proposals for community parking to the Chandigarh administration. These proposals are yet to get clearance.
Other issue deliberated upon
1. Cancellation of driving licences after three challans.
2. Metro project.
3. Proper management of traffic.
4. Need for more schools and colleges.
5. Greater participation from private sectors in education of EWS.
6. Need for making Chandigarh a solar city.
7. Slum housing projects to be continued in the right earnest