Councillor’s report card: A tongue-tied man, a job half-done | punjab$chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Councillor’s report card: A tongue-tied man, a job half-done

punjab Updated: Oct 22, 2016 14:23 IST
Monica Sharma
Monica Sharma
Hindustan Times
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Encroachments by shopkeepers and vendors in the Sector 19 market.(Keshav Singh/HT )

A known face in the city’s business and social circles, Mukesh Bassi first contested the municipal corporation elections on Congress ticket from ward 24 in 2006, only to lose.

He left the Congress in 2009 to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) but returned to the Congress-fold a year later.

In 2011, he fought the councillor’s election on party ticket from Ward 17 and had his first taste of victory.

Though Bassi raised the issue of substandard material being used in road re-carpeting in Sector 21 of his ward that also includes Sectors 18 and 19 and made sure the green belts there were well maintained, he could not solve the issue of encroachment in Sectors 19 and 21 markets.

Besides, residents of his ward faced low-water pressure during the first three years of his tenure. Service lanes behind the residential areas in his ward faced neglect during his tenure as they were not cleaned properly.

Though he made some efforts to ensure quality work and get new projects, he blamed an indifferent administration for delay in the execution of works.

In the MC House meeting, Bassi remained virtually silent throughout his tenure and barely participated in any meetings.

“Issues discussed in the House are sometimes irrelevant and I did not find them worth participating. The elected body is not able to complete a majority of projects due to the administration’s interference,” the councillor says.

“We are dependent on the administration for funds and it is not easy for the councillors to get these works executed,” he adds.

Bassi says the sectors in his ward faced acute water pressure for some years but the issue was resolved later as he got the pipes replaced being a member of the MC’s water supply committee.

He also got the green belts and parks maintained and got street lights installed.

The community centre in the sector. (Keshav Singh/HT )

During his tenure, he got constructed toilet blocks in green belts of Sectors 18 and 19 and a gymnasium at the Sector 21 community centre. Besides, a proposal was passed for the construction of a parking lot in the Sector 19 Sadar Bazar.

He also got two community centres renovated in Sectors 18 and 21.

He was particular about the quality of material being used for the works in his ward. He even got a vigilance inquiry done for road re-carpeting in Sector 21 after he found the material used was not up to the mark.

Born and brought up in Chandigarh, Bassi had joined the National Students Union of India (NSUI), the student wing of the Congress, at the age of 17. His family hails from Punjab.

Born into a business family, he was the only one to enter politics. He is into the manufacturing of automobile spare parts. He is a former president of the Chandigarh Club.

He was general secretary of the Chandigarh Youth Congress and was also general secretary of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee.

During his one-year stint in the BJP, he was state vice-president and chief spokesperson of the party’s Chandigarh unit.

Many residents of his ward say that he was not accessible for some. They say the stray dog menace was also not tackled in the ward.

Opponent speak:

“The main problem with councillor Mukesh Bassi was that he was not accessible. He could not be contacted despite repeated attempts. Sanitation was a big issue and garbage was piled up on the roadsides. Residents themselves had to pitch in to clean the area,” Sanjay Suri, president, BJP mandal, said.

Tomorrow: Ward 18 Satinder Singh