Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Saturday directed the secretary of the local government department to immediately tie up with the general administration department to get the status and protocol of the mayors clearly defined and issue necessary guidelines accordingly.
Badal took the decision after a high-level delegation of the Punjab State Council of Mayors (PCM), comprising mayors from Punjab and the union territory of Chandigarh, called on Badal at his residence here.
A spokesperson of the chief minister’s office said Badal assured that mayors deserved to be accorded “appropriate respect and honour” by the civil and police officials in districts, besides the state administration.
“Acceding to the request of the mayors, the chief minister also allowed for the mayors to use red beacon atop their official vehicles and asked the principal secretary, transport, to issue necessary instructions,” the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said Badal also asked the local government department to issue instructions to all deputy commissioners, SSPs and heads of the departments at the state headquarter to ensure proper respect and representation to mayors.
Badal also directed for sending of all official letters, especially proceedings of various meetings and executive directions by the local government, to the mayors for perusal.
The chief minister also asked the local government department to include mayors as members of the district urban infrastructure committees (DUICs) to ensure holistic development of cities.
Badal also directed the principal secretary, finance, to transfer Rs 422 crore to the corporations on account of additional excise duty on liquor, besides their share of solid waste management to spur the Swachh Bharat Mission.
The chief minister also asked the chairman of the Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd (PSPCL) to get the electricity tariff on commercial rates paid by the municipal corporations thoroughly examined as civic bodies provide street lighting to residents free of cost.
The mayors had demanded that in case the PSPCL could not exempt the corporations from payment of electricity bills, the electricity duty should at least be waived off.