Chandigarh mayor says Rose Club will become MC Club for councillors’ recreation

Opposition Congress questions move, says BJP leader elected to the post recently has misplaced priorities
Mayor Raj Bala Malik along with councillors during her ‘welcome party’ at Rose Club in Sector 16, Chandigarh, on Monday.
Mayor Raj Bala Malik along with councillors during her ‘welcome party’ at Rose Club in Sector 16, Chandigarh, on Monday.
Updated on Jan 21, 2020 12:44 AM IST
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At her welcome party organised by the municipal corporation at Rose Club, Sector 16, on Monday, new mayor Raj Bala Malik declared that the two-acre property is being converted into the MC Club for councillors and officials.

Senior deputy mayor Ravi Kant Sharma went a step further and said it will be a state-of-the-art club with a soundproof auditorium so that the tony neighbourhood is not disturbed.

The club, situated near Rose Garden, is surrounded by official residences of VIPs, including IAS and IPS officers.

The announcement comes just weeks after the MC General House approved two personal staffers (peon and stenographer) for each of the 26 elected councillors.

While Malik maintained there was nothing wrong in the move as councillors and municipal officials need a place for recreation, the opposition Congress slammed her for “misplaced priorities”.

“All roads being maintained by the MC are in a bad condition. In the past three years, BJP mayors have imposed one tax after another, citing the need to increase revenue in order to meet expenses. But instead of making a judicious use of public money, the new mayor wants to spend crores to make her favourite councillors and officers happy by opening a club for them,” said leader of opposition Devinder Babla.

Stating that the Congress is against the move, he said Malik should instead focus on improving civic amenities.

MC took away club from us: RWA president

The announcement has not gone down well with residents too.

Dr Promilla Kakkar, who is the president of the Sector 16 resident welfare association, said this place housed one the city’s finest clubs in 80s and 90s. It had sports facilities and AC halls besides a library and health centre. CITCO used to run the kitchen and catering service, and its members were mostly the sector residents. However, when the premises came under the MC, its downfall began, she said.

“Unlike CITCO, the civic body did not help us run the club effectively. Ultimately, it was shut down in 2010, and converted into a community centre, which too did not receive a good response,” said Kakkar.

The RWA president demanded the MC should restore the club as it was earlier. “We will submit a memorandum to the UT administrator to stall the mayor’s move,” she said.

However, senior deputy mayor Ravi Kant, who is also the area councillor, said the “huge area is going waste” as there are very few bookings for functions at the community centre. Reason: People don’t get the permission to use loud speakers because of the presence of VIP houses in the neighbourhood. Justifying the move, he said if journalists can have Press Club, why can’t councillors and MC officials have their own club.

Meanwhile, MC commissioner KK Yadav said: “A declaration does not mean that it has been approved.”

The civic body will look into the proposal and check its financial and technical viability, he said, adding that if all goes well, the agenda will be placed before the General House for approval.

On how much money will be spent on it and who will be allowed to use it, Yadav said it is too early to comment on it, as first the proposal has to be drafted.

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Monday, November 29, 2021