A councillor interacting with mayor during the MC House meeting held at Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan in Ludhiana on Wednesday. (Gurpreet Singh/Hindustan Times)
A councillor interacting with mayor during the MC House meeting held at Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan in Ludhiana on Wednesday. (Gurpreet Singh/Hindustan Times)

Ludhiana MC House meet: Mushrooming of illegal colonies rile councillors

They also lambast the civic body officials over their failure to keep a check on the standard of work and demanded that contractors, who fail to complete quality work within the deadline, be blacklisted
By Harsimran Singh Batra, Ludhiana
PUBLISHED ON JUL 15, 2021 01:24 AM IST

The failure of the Ludhiana municipal corporation (MC) in tightening the noose around illegal colonisers and delay in completion of development works were among the major issues highlighted by councillors during the general House meeting held at Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan here on Wednesday.

SAD and BJP councillors rued that residents living in their areas, especially the outer wards of the city, were also facing water shortage due to mushrooming of illegal colonies.

The BJP councillor from ward number 31, Sonia Sharma, even warned of staging a protest outside MC chief Pardeep Sabharwal’s office if no action is taken in this regard.

The SAD councillor representing ward number 30, Jaspal Giaspura, said over 40 illegal colonies have been developed in the last six months in wards 30 and 31 and despite repeated complaints, officials of building branch have failed to take action. “The colonisers are selling showrooms and residential plots worth crores by developing illegal colonies and putting pressure on MC, but the civic body is turning a blind eye to the problems,” he added.

The councillors also lambasted the civic body officials over their failure in keeping a check on the standard of work and sought that contractors, who fail to complete quality work within the deadline, be blacklisted.

Councillor Mamta Ashu from ward number 67 blamed the contractors for delay in completing the development work.

Mayor Balkar Sandhu and municipal commissioner Pardeep Sabharwal interacting with councillors. (Gurpreet Singh/Hindustan Times)
Mayor Balkar Sandhu and municipal commissioner Pardeep Sabharwal interacting with councillors. (Gurpreet Singh/Hindustan Times)

Mayor Balkar Sandhu said the building branch officials have been asked to take strict action against the complaints of illegal colonies. “Directions have been issued to snap the water/sewer connections in illegal colonies,” he added. “Orders for development works of around 300 crore will be issued in the coming days and I also urge the councillors to keep a check on the quality of work. The MC will not tolerate poor quality work and strict action will be taken against the contractors and officials concerned. The contractors will also be blacklisted,” the mayor said.

Other issues highlighted during the meeting included stray animal menace, encroachments on MC properties/land, failure in removing temporary encroachments. Congress councillor Umesh Sharma also demanded that MC should install generator sets at tube wells to ensure uninterrupted supply.

Leader of opposition Harbhajan Singh Dang and mayor Balkar Sandhu also had a heated argument over the alleged failure of MC in taking up development works minutes after the House meeting began.

Many councillors were seen flouting Covid-safety norms by not maintaining social distance and wearing masks.

Nod to blanket ban on single-use plastic

Approval has been granted to ban all single-use plastic, including carry bags, in the city. The mayor said separate teams will be formed to take action against the use and trade of such plastic. A detailed list of items banned by the MC is awaited.

All-party meet for LED streetlights tomorrow

After the councillors raised objection on the ‘poor functioning’ of company deployed for installation and maintenance of LED streetlights, the mayor said an all-party meet of councillors will be held on Friday to take the final decision on the contractor.

Water/sewer tariff

Upon councillor Sunita Sharma’s objection on enhanced water/sewer tariff and revocation of some exemptions, the mayor announced that the exemption has been restored and action will be taken against the officials who have still issued the bills to the houses with area up to 125 sq yards. The House also approved the MC’s decision to increase the tipping fee from 324 to 425, which is given to the contractor for lifting of garbage.

Shifting of dairy units out of MC limits

The House approved a resolution for shifting over 500 units in Haibowal and Tajpur Road dairy complexes outside the MC limits. Nod has also been given to change the land use of dairy complex to commercial.

Other resolutions approved

The House deliberated on 41 resolutions and some of the approved ones included imposition of monthly composition fee on street vendors; hike in monthly amount given to park management committees with area up to 100 sq mt; maintenance of water/sewer lines in LIT colonies; collection of EDC from colonisers; filling up around 400 vacant posts of JEs, SDOs, clerks through outsourcing; renovation of public toilets; and jobs for next of kin of employees on compassionate grounds.

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