The issues of nonoperational public toilets and rampant encroachment dominated the last municipal corporation House meeting held under mayor Poonam Sharma on Wednesday.
During the meet, councillors stated over 250 public toilets in different markets, especially green belts, were in pitiable condition for the past two years.
“The questions are being raised whether the MC can’t even operate public toilets,” said Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) councillor Arun Sood.
Former deputy mayor Davesh Moudgil said it’s ironical the MC couldn’t find get bidders to operate these toilets. Most of the public toilets in green belts are locked, forcing people to go defecate in the open, he added.
MC Commissioner B Purushartha admitted the overall condition of toilets in the city had gone from bad to worse, which is why “we have now roped in banks for their operation and maintenance under the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).”
We will sign an MoU with these banks, under which they will be asked to at least provide maintenance services for three years.
On the issue of poor sanitation condition in several sectors, Manimajra councillor Deshraj said, “We have only one sanitary inspector to cater to the population of over 2 lakh. It’s high time the MC hire some more sanitation workers.”
“It’s been 15 days a sewer line in Sector 35C has been blocked. Despite complaints, the MC staff have failed to address the problem,” said SAD councillor Harjinder Kaur, adding despite several requests for the mapping of sewerlines, nothing had been done.
Mayor Poonam Sharma thanked all the councillors and the MC staff for their cooperation in carrying out the development projects.
STUDY TOUR ISSUE RAKED UP AGAIN
The councillors also discussed the issue of deduction of `9,000 from every member who was part of the study tour to Chennai, Kolkata and Port Blair in October last year.
Demanding refund, nominated councillor MP Kohli said, “It seems by going on the study tour, we committed some kind of a crime. Even after paying `30,000 as the expenses for the family members’ visit, we were asked to pay `9,000.”
“I have been seeking a report on all the study tours since 1996. To date, the MC officials have not submitted it,” said BJP councillor Satish Kainth, asking why the money had not deducted the money from the accounts of former councillors.
“The House had earlier decided the money should be returned but now, nobody is talking about it,” added Kainth.
Raking up the controversy, BJP councillor Satinder Singh said, “From day one, I was against the study tour. What had happened during the tour brought a bad name to the civic body. We demand a thorough inquiry as to how the MC roped in the travel agency and how the councillors went to the places that were not even included in the itinerary list.”
Objecting, BJP councillors Rajinder Rattu and Asha Jaswal said, “The councillors who were part of the tour went there as a family, and the tour has not brought a bad name to the MC.”
NOMINATED COUNCILLOR OBJECTS TO SOLID WASTE SEGREGATION PROJECT
Nominated councillor Major DS Sandhu objected to the solid waste segregation project at household level in Sector 34 and 35. “Resident welfare associations should also be involved in the project,” he said.
On the initiative of area councillor Harjinder Kaur, a pilot project for municipal solid waste segregation in Sector 34 and 35 was proposed, following which a meeting was held on November 18 and was approved in a House meet on November 30.
The councillor also urged the MC commissioner B Purushartha to shelve the project. On this, Harjinder Kaur said, “We had invited the RWA members in the House meeting, and the agenda was approved in the House.”