Contrary to the Punjab government's tall claims to get maximum areas of the city under the ambit of local body, the proposal to extend limits of the Patiala municipal corporation (MC) seems to be buried under heaps of files, as the project has been hung fire even after three years of its inception.
Neither the state authorities thought it would be right to send a communiqué or inform the civic body verbally about the fate of the project - whether accepted or rejected.
The apparent reasons behind the project hanging fire can be the state government's reluctance to give its go ahead to the MC in the paucity of resources or, preheats, tabling the proposal by the MC authorities was just a formality and they failed miserably to track it and got it cleared.
Whatsoever is the reason; both the factors raised questions over seriousness and intentions of both the MC and the government to execute the proposal in near future.
Even more deplorable has been the state government's lackadaisical attitude, which has clogged the MC officials' vision, who are in a fix not knowing how to proceed on with a new extension proposal.
Experts believe that with hardly any land left with the local body, bringing areas under the MC's ambit will financially rewarding for the local body and provide it with better future prospects by adding shamlat lands of several villages.
According to information, following an extensive geographic and demographic survey in 2010, MC's town planners prepared a draft to extend their limit, which was passed on to the state government for approval.
Earlier, in 1996, the MC had extended its.
Sources with the MC said in the proposal, the MC had sought to increase its area on Patiala-Bhadson road up to Bhakhra main line canal covering half of the area of Sidhuwal village while on Patiala-Sirhind road, it sought to expand its limits up to Baran village.
However, as per the fresh proposal, the local body proposed to stick to its present area on the Patiala-Rajpura and Patiala Nabha road.
“A few months after sending the proposal, the local body department asked the MC to send maps of the proposed extension with better illustrations. The MC followed the suit, but failed to get any response from the local body department in past three years,” sources said.
However, official sources with the local body department said that it had been three years since the MC had sent the proposal, and thus, there was a dire need to carry out further on-the-spot analysis, including how funds, infrastructure and basic facilities would be managed and provided in these new areas.
Meanwhile, mayor Amarinder Bajaj said following his installation as mayor, he took up the matter with local bodies minister Arun Joshi, who assured him to take serious consideration over extension of Patiala MC.
“Sensing that the state government might have disposed off the proposal, we decided to send amended proposal with new limits recently, but authorities directed the MC to stick with the earlier proposal, as they have yet to take any decision on it”, he said.