More than 1 lakh residents of five colonies in the city - Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, Rajguru Nagar, Rishi Nagar, Bharat Nagar Extension and Sant Ishar Singh Nagar Flats, have been without maintenance for more than four months, as there is no clarity on who is to look after governance here.
Residents claim that these areas were transferred to the municipal corporation from the Ludhiana Improvement Trust, recently, but before the MC could take control, former BJP state president and Punjab State Planning Board vice-chairman professor Rajinder Bhandari convinced the then local bodies minister Bhagat Chunni Lal to disallow the transfer.
Since then development of the areas has stalled with neither the Trust nor the MC taking responsibility.
This was even as SAD councillor Tanveer Dhaliwal, Paramjit Kaur Shivalik, wife of SAD MLA Darshan Singh Shivalik, along with others protested during the last MC house meeting against the BJP leader, claiming that he was behind the 'zero development' in the area.
Arvind Sharma , a resident of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, said: "There is no one to take care of overflowing sewage. Garbage heaps are everywhere. The area has become prone to multiple diseases. The SAD-BJP government has failed us."
Now, with none of the two authorities having paid the bills for electricity, the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited has discontinued supply to the streetlights and the SBS Nagar is pitch dark at night.
A group of residents from Rajguru Nagar claimed that they were being made scapegoats in a game of politics between the SAD-BJP and the government was not delivering.
Councillor Dhaliwal lambasted Bhandari. "Professor Bhandari has a vested interest in the Ludhiana Improvement Trust and wants the colonies to be under their jurisdiction. However, the decision to transfer the colonies was approved and passed in the MC and cannot be taken back, under the provisions of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act."
However, Bhandari denied the allegations and claimed to have intervened in the best interests of the public. "I am not for or against the transfer of these areas to the MC. My only concern is development of the area. The matter is with the local bodies ministry and he is the competent authority to take a call here."
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