Despite the Punjab government upgrading the municipal council as a municipal corporation (MC) a year ago, not even a single brick has been laid for the construction work of welcome gates till now. The welcome gates, which were constructed at the entry points of Moga, have been hanging fire for the past eight years. The then Moga municipal council had started construction work of six gates at a cost of around Rs 36 lakh but the work had stopped, allegedly due to a political tussle between the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) and Congress leaders.
Several residents of Moga and surrounding areas are of the opinion that public money has been wasted in the past also and the same will continue in future as politicians are only interested in their vote banks.
According to information gathered, the MC had taken the decision of installing six gates at various places in the city, including Vishwakarma Bhawan, Akalsar Road, Dutt Road, Rabb Nagar and FCI godowns road with funds of more than Rs 19 lakh in 2006. The MC started work despite the criticism from both SAD and Congress leaders who called it a wastage of money but the project as not been completed so far.
While one gate at Vishwakarma Bhawan is awaiting completion, work on the others has failed to start.
Ranwinder Singh Pappu Ramoowala, senior leader of SAD (Badal) said, "It is the demand of the public to build the gates. The SAD-BJP government has completed the Vishwakarma Bhawan. I have written a letter to deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal for completing the pending construction work of other gates across the city."
On the other hand, Harjot Kamal, executive member of the Punjab Pardesh Congress Committee said the project was sheer wastage of public money. "Public money should not be wasted just to secure votes. The incomplete gates have been already disgracing the city and MC should try to complete these first," he said.
When contacted, Barjinder Singh Brar, former president of the MC, said a few months ago, his father and agriculture minister jathedar Tota Singh had raised the matter with chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal. "The deputy chief minister has assured us the government is ready to make Moga a beautiful city and all pending construction work will be completed soon," Brar added.