Though the much-hyped visit of deputy chief minister ( dy CM) Sukhbir Singh Badal was scheduled to take stock of some of the most important projects that have been hanging fire in the city for a long time, he ended up visiting only one major project site other than attending a function for the launch of pension scheme for senior citizens and physically handicapped persons, in which the pension has been doubled from Rs 250 to 500, and meeting MLAs of the district on Thursday.
As per the scheduled visit of the deputy CM, he was supposed to visit about at least 10 major project sites of the city but he only paid a visit to a site on Kapurthala road, where the sewerage pipe-laying work was going on, while opting out of visiting other places. Reportedly, Sukhbir had to go to Chandigarh for official engagements.
Sukhbir declared that the Punjab government would release Rs 400 crore for the development of the city in the coming one year. In addition to this, he held a meeting with the MLAs of the nine constituencies in the district at GO mess at Punjab Armed Police (PAP) grounds, that lasted for around 3 hours.
The deputy CM even failed to visit Wariana dump area of the city. Municipal corporation (MC) officials were left high and dry as they were expecting that Sukhbir would visit the site and take some immediate steps to start the solid waste management project at Jamsher village.
“As the meeting of the deputy CM with the MLAs consumed a lot of time, and the time for his departure was advanced by more than two hours, he failed to visit various sites as per schedule. We are not disappointed as he has promised to devote a full day to Jalandhar in the coming days for visiting all these sites,” said mayor Sunil Jyoti.
MC contended with assurances
The MC seems to be satisfied with assurances given by the deputy CM regarding the resumption of work on pending projects. Sukhbir also assured about filling the coffers of the MC within a few months. “Sukhbir Badal has assured me that funds worth Rs 15 crore will be released soon for the city’s development,” said Jyoti.
Sukhbir also instructed municipal commissioner GS Khaira to hold a meeting with special secretary to deputy CM, Manvesh Sidhu, next week to discuss various modalities regarding the release of Rs 35 crore spent by MC on the construction of roads last year and resolving the stalemate regarding the solid waste management project.
The official said that they would also hold a meeting with the Jindal group on the solid waste management project.
Jyoti said the deputy CM had sought a few more days for resolving the issue of solid waste management project.
At a meeting with the MLAs at PAP grounds, Sukhbir listened to the issues put forward by them and discussed the key projects in their constituencies. All official concerned with civic projects were called for the meeting and the deputy CM gave them instructions to complete the projects as soon as possible.
He instructed special principal secretary Manvesh Sidhu to ensure funding for all the projects. Sources said he instructed all MLAs to pull up their socks to improve their image in their constituencies.
Police detain Congress workers
Congress workers who were planning to meet the deputy CM during his visit to the city were detained by the police near Hansraj stadium.
The workers said they had tried to meet Sukhbir so as to make him familiar with the real civic situation of the city.
They were detained enroute to GO mess at PAP grounds from BMC Chowk.
The protesters raised slogans such as “Badal Sarkar Chor Hai” at BMC chowk. District Congress president Rajinder Beri and MC leader of opposition Jagdish Raja led the protesters.
They protested against the Punjab government’s water metering policy. As per the policy, the consumers shall pay water supply and sewerage bill along with the power bill.