After high drama at the sangat darshan organised at the meeting hall of municipal corporation (MC)’s Zone-A office last week, the “public meeting” was conducted in the confines of MC commissioner’s office on Tuesday.
Sources said MC commissioner Pradeep Kumar Agarwal took the step on the directions of the chief minister. As a result, only MC commissioner was in his office, as visitors came turn wise to list their complaints. There were no other senior officials of the MC in the office nor was the media allowed to cover the sangat darshan, as it usually the practice. Aggarwal referred several complaints to the officials concerned and complainants were asked to meet them by visiting their offices.
One of the visitors said, “The commissioner listened to my complaint and marked it to the officials concerned. A sangat darshan means an open public meeting where all officials concerned should be available and complaints should be entertained on the spot. But that was missing.”
MC commissioner Agarwal said, “The complainants were able to share their complaints in an easy and peaceful manner by visiting my office one by one. The sangat darshan will continue on every Tuesday. If I am unavailable, another senior official will receive the complaints.”
Around 20 complaints, majority regarding the building branch, were given by different residents to the commissioner. The residents of Seeta Nagar also came to complain about non-lifting of garbage, while Satish Thaman, member of the District Ludhiana West Sub-Division Grievances Redressal Committee, a gave complaint about unsanitary conditions around the PAU police station near dairy complex of Haibowal.
Thaman said, “I have given 24 complaints since July 15 when the first sangat darshan was held. However, none of them have been redressed. The MC could conduct a sangat darshan in any way, as long as complaints are redressed.”
Sources said chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has given directions to the MC commissioner to stop conducting sangat darshan in the open. The directions came after some independent councillors raised some complaints during the sangat darshan on August 19 and refused to leave after the MC commissioner asked them to return on a later date as the sangat darshan was meant to redress the problems of the general masses. The councillors had accused the commissioner of using unparliamentary language
Jasbir Singh Jassa, an independent councillor, claimed that they had written a complaint to chief minister Parkash Singh Badal against the commissioner, following which the CM directed to stop holding the sangat darshan in the open.
Meanwhile, an official requesting anonymity, said some of the councillors did not want that the MC commissioner to hold sangat darshans, as then less people approached them for getting their issues redressed.
An official with MC also revealed that the residents had also given genuine complaints against some councillors. But the latter were using their political influence and forcing the commissioner not to take action.