The Jalandhar municipal corporation (MC) passed the agenda on Smart City proposal amid noisy scenes during the House meeting on Tuesday.
The meeting, which was convened for getting approval of the elected representatives on amendments in the Smart City plan, was dominated by claims and counter claims which lasted for around two hours, while no discussion was held on the main subject. The agenda was passed in the house within 10 seconds.
During the question hour, a group of councillors, especially from the opposition Congress, accused the officials of the building branch and the advertisement wing of corruption and demanded action against them.
There was uproar in the House when Congress councillor from ward number 1 Desh Raj Jassal allegedly hurled a derogatory remark at mayor Sunil Jyoti. Jassal alleged that the building branch was targeting a “financially weak” councillor and had sent a notice of demolition at his residence.
“Under your (mayor) jurisdiction, the MC officials are targeting a councillor who doesn’t have the luxury of giving bribe. And all this is happening right under your nose,” said Jassal. “It’s the disgrace to the chair of the mayor that a person like you is sitting on it,” he added.
Infuriated over Jassal’s remarks, BJP councillors demanded an apology from him. The councillors said they won’t let the meeting proceed if Jassal does not tender an apology in the House.
Leader of opposition in the MC Jagdish Raja then apologised on Jassal’s behalf for using derogatory language and insulting the mayor.
Bhatia vs Bhatia
During the question hour, deputy mayor Kamaljit Singh Bhatia sought a reply from state town planner (STP) Shakti Sagar Bhatia on the action taken by the building branch on illegal buildings.
“What action has the building branch taken on the 24 identified illegal buildings? I won’t sit till I get the reply,” said the deputy mayor. He was supported by other councillors.
Seeing things geeting out of order, municipal commissioner GS Khaira called the STP and asked him to give a reply to the deputy mayor. The deputy mayor also demanded that the building branch should attest a copy of building bylaws along with the report of the building that it termed compoundable.
The house meeting also reflected the non-serious attitude of the councillors, especially those belonging to the Congress, who didn’t take any interest in the Smart City plan.
Congress members had boycotted the pre-House meeting in which councillors were briefed about the Smart City proposals and the future course of action.
Even after not being briefed about the Smart City plan, the councillor didn’t pose any question and the resolution was passed in just 10 seconds.
The Smart City proposal has to be submitted to the Union government before December 15.
The Smart City proposals from Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Amritsar will now be submitted to the state-level steering committee headed by deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.