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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014

Some achievements, lot of ruckus marks Chawla's tenure

Hillary Victor, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, December 19, 2013
First Published: 11:36 IST(19/12/2013) | Last Updated: 11:45 IST(19/12/2013)

City mayor Subhash Chawla might be pleased with his efforts, but he could not bring about much positive changes in the city. While some of his initiatives were praised, others did not yield any result.

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With his tenure coming to an end on December 31, HT takes a look at it.

Chawla has been credited for starting the construction work of first multi-level parking in Sector 17, carpeting of 417km road, starting of online grievance system, shifting nearly 2,000 stray cattle to others parts of the region and finalising sites for four community centres in southern sectors.

According to his party (Congress) members, he has passed the test with flying colours. But if the opposition yardstick is adopted to assess his work, he might not even attain the passing marks. Be it the basic issues of sanitation and water supply or the menace of stray dogs, Chawla has not won any brownie points in their management from the councillors.

Controversy too dogged his 12-month tenure. In most of municipal corporation House meetings, Chawla was at receiving end. Not only the opposition but also the Congress councillors targeted him. In one of the meetings, the mayor had even tendered his resignation when an anonymous letter levelling allegations of bribery against him had surfaced.

One of promises he made on January 1 was that no new tax would be imposed during his tenure. But on February 28, the agenda of imposing house tax was approved, for which Chawla faced severe criticism from the opposition and resident welfare associations.

Speaking to HT, Chawla admitted that he really wanted to improve the sanitation system in the city, but could not do it due to infrastructure and other problems.

As far as other development works are concerned, he said, "I have approved most of development agendas during my tenure, despite opposition councillors trying their level best to hinder development work. They wasted precious time of the House by debating on unimportant issues, taking a jibe at each other and made mockery of the House. I give myself 8 marks out of 10."


Major projects undertaken

Multi-level parking in Sector 17
The construction work of multi-level parking in Sector 17, which was hanging fire for the past two years, finally began in October. The parking lot would provide some respite from woes, as it would accommodate 950 vehicles.

Water bills go online
In August, the mayor launched the Management Information System (MIS) of water billing. With this water bills are checked online and residents are getting SMS alerts reminding payment dates.

Sites for four dispensaries finalised
It was with the effort of the mayor that sites for four dispensaries were finalised in Sectors 48, 49, 50 and 51. Tenders have already been floated and work on it will begin this month only. It was long-pending demand of the residents of southern sectors as there was no dispensary.

Mayor on backfoot

3 killed in mishaps involving stray cattle
The mayor invited severe criticism after three persons were killed after their vehicles rammed into stray cattle in different parts of the city. The families even lodged a DDR against the MC commissioner and the mayor. Though the mayor took initiative to make city cattle-free city and shifted 2,000 stray cattle to guashala's in the region, the problem still persists.
 
Monthly meetings adjourned
In the past 11 monthly meetings, most of them were adjourned. Not only the opposition but also the Congress councillors targeted him.

BSP councillor touches new low
It was during Chawla's tenure that BSP councillor Jannat Jahan touched a new low by hurling abuses for nearly 30 minutes at deputy mayor Satish Kainth and MP Pawan Kumar Bansal. In one of the meetings she used the F-word while underlining her disgust with the civic body's functioning and criticising city mayor.

 

Rating mayor

Subhash Chawla, mayor
http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2013/12/Chawla_compressed.jpg
I have approved most of the development agendas during my tenure, despite opposition councillors trying their level best to hinder development work. They wasted precious time of the House by debating on unimportant issues, taking a jibe at each other and made mockery of the House. I give myself 8 out of 10 marks.

MP Kohli, nominated councillor
The mayor tried his level best to solve the problems of the city, but the BJP-SAD councillors never allowed him to do so. In most of the House meetings, opposition councillors debated on unimportant issues hindering development work. I feel Chawla handled everything with great patience and wisdom. I give him 9 out of 10 marks.

Jannat Jahan, BSP councillor
http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2013/12/Jannat_compressed.jpg
Under the mayorship of Chawla, the House meetings in past 11 months never worked smoothly as he failed to handle the situations arouse in house from time to time. I feel Raj Bala Malik was better than him as she took everybody into confidence to run the House. I will give him 4 out of 10 marks.

Mukesh Bassi, Congress councillor
http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2013/12/Mukesh_compressed.jpg
It was Chawla only who took out the MC from financial crunch. The coordination between the MC and UT administration has tremendously improved under his tenure and work of most of the pending projects was started by him only. I give him 8 out of 10 marks.

Satinder Singh, BJP councillor
http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2013/12/Satinder_compressed.jpg
The city expected a lot from Chawla as he is an experienced politician, but he failed to deliver. He could not sort out the city issues properly and a very little has been done by him. Surprisingly, he did not even take his own councillors into confidence while taking decisions. I give him 5 out of 10 marks.

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