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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Dec 2014

One-year term short for initiating new projects: Raj Bala Mayor's interview

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, December 17, 2012
First Published: 10:33 IST(17/12/2012) | Last Updated: 10:41 IST(17/12/2012)

How do you rate your performance?
The day I was elected mayor my priority was development of the city. I even got approved most of the projects which were hanging fire from the past several years. Be it a multi-level parking, Mahila Bhawan in Sector 37 or approving the project of extension of MC building in Sector 17.

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There were reports that your ties with your party councillors were not very cordial?
It is not true. Being the mayor, councillors of both ruling and opposition are same for me. As far the Congress councillors are concerned, all of them fully cooperated with me in the development of the city during my tenure.

The opposition accused you of being biased in approving their agendas. How do your react to the said charges?
Why will I be biased? Even while approving agendas, I never see whether it belongs to BJP or Congress councillors. Sometimes there are technical and legal hitches in approving an agenda, but the opposition should not look the other way.

There are complaints from resident welfare bodies that you failed to start any new project in the city during your tenure?
First of all, one-year term is very short for any mayor to start a new project. Moreover, there were many pending important projects in the city, which I wanted to approve first and I did it. What is the sense in approving new projects and delaying the old ones.

Do you think you failed to tackle the situation of water shortage and sanitation in the city?
As far water shortage is concerned, it happens every year during summer months, but this year the problem was more grievous .We have formed a committee to tackle the situation and it will submit its report soon. I have pulled up the officials concerned and I feel that things are improving now. Yes, the sanitation problem is another serious problem in the city, but we are helpless as we are short of sweepers, but soon we will be filing vacant posts.

For the first time in the history of 16 years the civic body is passing through financial straits. Whom do you hold responsible for it?
Yes, the financial condition of MC has gone bad to worse because of non-release of grants from the UT administration. The department concerned has written several letters to the UT administration, but now I feel that within a few days we will get our grants which are pending since July this year.

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