Acting on the petition of Patiala MLA Preneet Kaur, a three-member team of Punjab Vidhan Sabha’s Questions and References Committee inspected various parks located at Jyoti Enclave, Master Tara Singh Park and those in Model Town, besides reviewing the condition of seasonal rivulet Jacob drain near Government Mohindra College, Patiala on Tuesday.
The ground inspection was carried out on the orders Punjab Vidhan Sabha speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal after Preneet Kaur moved a plea before him, saying that she was not satisfied with the official response of the state government on spending crores to keep up Patiala’s green parks and seasonal rivulet clean, during proceeding of last Vidhan Sabha session in March.
As part of its inspection, the committee members, including Sundar Sham Arora, Bharat Bhushan Ashu and Surinder Dawar, visited several sites even as local Congress supporters were found eager to show them how the local municipal corporation (MC) was not at all keeping the city clean.
The Congress leader in MC, Sanjeev Bittu, said today’s inspection by the team would definitely nail the false claims of the state government and the local MC since team members were themselves privy to the bad condition of city’s parks and further how drain has turned into dumping yard due to the MC’s negligence.
A member of the committee, Bharat Bhushan Ashu, refused to share their observations. He told HT that their job was to carry out on the spot inspection which they have done today. “We will accordingly submit our report to the Vidhan Sabha speaker for further perusal of the case,” he added.
Meanwhile, Patiala MLA Praneet Kaur said the committee members looked for themselves how the parks were not maintained. “The government had claimed in the Vidhan Sabha that it had spent `4.75 crore on the maintenance on 98 parks during the past five years, which is completely wrong,” she said.
According to her, the city was under complete mess as development had come to a standstill. “More than 60 parks are lying encroached and little has been done by the MC to upkeep the existing parks,” she claimed
“Besides, local bodies minister Anil Joshi has himself asserted in his reply that out of total of 235 parks, the MC was maintaining only 98, which itself revealed MC’s lack of concern for city’s green belts,” said Preneet Kaur.
Speaking on the Jacob Drain, she said the committee members interacted with a large number of local residents who informed them that de-silting of the drain had not been carried out for years, whereas the government claimed that it was being done on annual basis and lakhs of rupees were paid for the work.
“I am sure that my effort for spot inspection by the committee concerned will bring out the factual position with regard to the deteriorating condition of the green parks and also the Jacob drain and directions will be issued to respective officials to ensure development here,” said Preneet Kaur.
Meanwhile, mayor Amarinder Singh Bajaj said the MC extended full co-operation to the committee and provided all the information sought by them. “The allegations raised by Congress workers are false and misleading since the city has seen a lot of development in past several years,” he added.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Committee, Manpreet Singh Ayalli, could not join the inspection. However, presence of three members was enough to complete the quorum for the meeting and inspection. MLA Preneet Kaur accompanied them throughout the inspection along with MC senior officials and administration.