The officials of UT administration and municipal corporation (MC) councillors seem to have come at loggerheads over the issue of developing playgrounds in various sectors of the city.
The MC councillors accused the UT chief architect Sumit Kaur of not giving clearance to the proposal of developing playgrounds, the latter shifted the blame on the corporation, saying the civic body had failed to act despite repeated reminders from UT urban planning department for holding meeting to take policy decision on the issue.
The MC house meeting held on Tuesday witnessed senior councillors, including former mayor and councillor Pardeep Chhabra and Saurabh Joshi, take on Sumit Kaur for her alleged failure in clearing the proposal. The councillors had also demanded that Sumit Kaur should not be given further extension, alleging that she deliberately delayed the projects of the municipal corporation.
The department of urban planning had recently written to the municipal corporation commissioner, urging him to convene a meeting for taking a policy decision on the issue.
The letter dated March 14 sent to the MC read: “This office is committed for creating adequate playgrounds. The sites for playgrounds in a few sectors were earmarked by this office, however, the same were opposed by senior residents of the locality due to the disturbance the playgrounds would cause. In addition, the administration has also been exploring the possibility of allowing children play in the playgrounds of schools in their neighbourhoods after school hours. A policy decision in this regard, that is, the provision of playgrounds in the neighbourhood area and utilisation of playgrounds of the schools, needs to be taken.”
The department had requested the MC to convene a meeting with the director sports, DPI (schools) and the representatives from the resident welfare association (RWA) to take a policy decision on the issue.
Talking to HT, Sumit Kaur said that they were committed to provide playgrounds for the children, however, for that a policy had to be framed. “We have been repeatedly requesting the MC authorities for taking a policy decision in consensus with the RWA, but till date there has been no development,” she said.
Despite repeated attempts, MC commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh was not available for comments.
When contacted, mayor Subhash Chawla said that the claims of department of urban planning that senior residents were opposed to creation of playgrounds in certain areas were not true. “Contrary to claims of department of urban planning, many senior residents have approached us with demand of developing playgrounds,” said Chawla.
He further conceded that no meeting with the director sports, DPI (schools) and representatives of RWAs had been conducted so far.
Federation of Sector Welfare Associations Chandigarh (FOSWAC) has been taking up the issue of playgrounds with the MC and administration for the past many years. FOSWAC chairman PC Sanghi maintained that MC and administration should resolve the issue so that policy could be framed.