Jalandhar MC passes Rs 603.68 crore budget as corruption charges fly

  • Jatinder Kohli, Hindustan Times, Jalandhar
  • Updated: Apr 01, 2016 00:25 IST

Amid chaos and allegations of corruption against officials of the civic body by several councillors, including those belonging to the ruling SAD-BJP combine, the Jalandhar municipal corporation (MC) on Thursday passed a budget Rs 603.68 crore for 2016-17 in a few minutes during the House meeting.

The SAD-BJP councillors, including senior deputy mayor Kamaljeet Singh Bhatia, Ravi Mahendru, Minta Kochhar, Ram Gopal and Joginder Singh Tonny, targeted mayor Sunil Jyoti, municipal commissioner Gurpreet Singh Khehra and other officials, alleging corruption in the town planning and building and road branches of the civic body during zero hour that lasted for more than an hour.

They alleged that several illegal buildings have come up in the city but the civic body has not taken any action as they are in connivance with the building owners.

They also chanted slogans against the mayor and the commissioner. Bhatia raised “chor bazari and gundagardi” slogans and accused officials of patronising illegal building owners in the city.

The mayor and senior deputy mayor exchanged a heated argument with the former threatening his deputy to suspend from the House and the latter daring him do so.

Bhatia even took on commissioner Khehra for demolishing a building in Basti Guzan market that is in his ward.

BJP councillor Ravi Mohindru, close to Jalandhar central MLA Manoranjan Kalia, alleged that the MC has released the payments for the construction of those roads that do not even exist.

The mayor requested them to let the officials concerned respond to them, but to no avail.

Mohindru demanded that a complaint should be lodged in this regard with the DGP vigilance for a fair probe as the scandal ran into crores. To this, the mayor asked Mohindru to file a complaint personally after the latter refused to hand over the complaint to the vigilance committee.

BJP councillor Joginder Singh Tony alleged that MC officials have not taken action against the owners of Rangla Vehra, Patel Hospital and Skylark Hotel for encroachments.

Another party councillor Ram Gopal accused the commissioner, claiming that corruption had increased during his tenure and he did not listen to anyone.

BJP councillor Minta Kocchar also targeted the mayor and had a heated argument with him. Minta accused the mayor of wrongdoing while the latter asked him to mind his language.

Congress councillors, including Pardeep Singh, raised “chor chor” slogans targeting chief parliamentary secretary KD Bhandari.

The leader of the opposition Jagdish Raja also alleged corruption in the civic body and raised slogans against the mayor.

Congress councillor Sushil Rinku said that construction of roads in his ward was pending for several years despite the fact that tenders were floated.

Amid the uproar, the mayor proposed to pass the `603.68 crore budget.

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