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HindustanTimes Mon,15 Sep 2014

Only 3 residents turn up for public hearing session; lowest turnout so far

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, November 19, 2012
First Published: 21:05 IST(19/11/2012) | Last Updated: 21:08 IST(19/11/2012)

The public hearing conducted by UT administrator Shivraj Patil appears to be losing its sheen, as only three city residents turned up for redressal of their grievances on Monday.

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This was the lowest turnout. Earlier, in November 2011, four residents had participated in the session.

This time, four residents had requested for participation in the session, out of which one failed to come due to bad heath. And those who attended the hearing session were not happy with the way their complaints were heard.

Jagdeep Singh, who had approached the administrator with a complaint about unfair treatment meted out by the local police in a property case, alleged that the administrator stopped him midway when he was narrating his issue by saying that his case was in the court and there was little they could do.

Arun Lall, professor, Punjab Engineering College (PEC) University of Technology, appeared before the administrator for the second time in the past one year, but in vain.

Terming the public hearing session as a mirage, Prof Lall said it was a mere waste of time, as the complainants get only false assurances.

Prof Lall first appeared before the administrator on May 16, 2011, with request pertaining to his pay protection. Prof Lall said the finance secretary was directed to give him "speaking order". He further claimed that despite seven reminders to the finance secretary, his complaint was not heard. "On Monday, when I talked about the previous orders, I was told by the administrator to forget the previous meeting and to explain the case again," rued Prof Lall, who alleged that the administrator advised him to move to the court and leave the room.

Ashok Bector, who had come with a request to register a case against retired DSP of Chandigarh Police BD Bector, said coming to the public hearing session was of no use.

UT advisor KK Sharma said, "All legitimate demands and complaints of the city residents are always taken care of. There is little we can do if something is not allowed as per rules."

The public hearing sessions have been witnessing low turnout of complainants in the past one year due to regular cancellation of hearing session at the 11th hour. This year, as many as five such sessions have been cancelled due to the busy schedule of the administrator.

All complaints submitted to be heard by the administrator are routed through the department of information technology, which send the complaints to the departments concerned for comments.

Thereafter, the complaints deemed fit for hearing are selected and the complainants are informed about the schedule of the public hearing. Heads of all the departments concerned, including police, estate office, Chandigarh Housing Board and the municipal corporation, are present to redress the grievances.

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