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HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

Code of conduct to halt MC development plan

Sanjeev Bhalla, Hindustan Times  Jalandhar, March 05, 2014
First Published: 19:15 IST(5/3/2014) | Last Updated: 19:16 IST(5/3/2014)

After implementation of the model code of conduct ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the development plans of MLAs from the city and Jalandhar municipal corporation are likely to come to a standstill.

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The ruling party leaders had laid foundation stones in the different wards of the city on war-footing but the work did go beyond the laying of stones.

Nearly 150 foundation stones had been laid by the MC in the past fortnight as a face-saver to woo the city people who have been criticising the MC as far as providing basic infrastructure is concerned.

Apprehending public ire in the parliamentary elections, Shiromani Akali Dal candidate from Jalandhar constituency, Pawan Tinu convened a press conference and in the presence of the MC commissioner and mayor, he said by March end all damaged roads of the city would be set right.

"As all premix plants are non-operational due to the winter season, the roads retouching cannot be started till these facilities start functioning. As per information available with us, the plants will not be operational till March 20," reveals an MC official.

Calling the MC's stone-laying spree a gimmick, district Congress committee president Rajinder Beri said, "The MC is trying to befool people ahead of the elections. They do not having a magic wand by which they can build the roads within a month. People of the city are fed up of apathetic attitude of the MC officials and are ready to teach the ruling alliance a lesson."

Earlier, the shortage of funds was the reason, then unprecedented rains and later cold weather in the region became a hindrance in road repair work. Most councillors of the ruling alliance raised this issue in the House meeting on January 24 and blamed the MC for "failing" to keep a check on quality.

Leaving no stone unturned and to give the impression that the work has been started before the code of conduct came into force, MC officials have been using earth, limestone and concrete-based rubble at certain places to fill up potholes. The residents of nearby areas called these efforts unnecessary and said these can prove dangerous for commuters.

"Throughout the day, dust irritates people. Rubble, if not properly pressed, poses a threat to commuters," said Pritam Singh, a Guru Nanak Pura resident.

The roads around bus stand, Transport Nagar, Maqsudan Road, Basti Bawa Khel on Kapurthala road, Ladowali Road, BSF Chowk, PAP Chowk, Nakodar Chowk, Adarsh Chowk, Paragpur road, Mai Hira Gate, around Jyoti Chowk, Master Gurbanta Singh Marg and several roads in the Bastiat area present a picture of neglect and show the MC working in poor light.

However, MC commissioner Manpreet Singh Chhatwal, when contacted, expressed his commitment in providing pliable roads in the city. "The code of conduct will not be a hindrance in our projects. I don't think anybody will object to our projects. People are rather happy that the condition of roads is being improved," he said.

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