Will fulfil free water, power promises to Chandigarh, says Manish Tewari - Hindustan Times
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Will fulfil free water, power promises to Chandigarh, says Manish Tewari

By, Chandigarh
Jun 15, 2024 07:48 AM IST

Says Chandigarh administrator’s decision to hike parking rates and reject free water proposal reeked of political partisanship

A day after the UT administration approved hiked parking rates and rejected MC House’s free water proposal, thereby dismissing both the freebies promised by the INDIA bloc, the Congress and AAP leaders hit back on Friday while affirming that the INDIA bloc was committed to its promises.

Newly elected Chandigarh MP Manish Tewari on Friday also visited the MC office in Sector 17 to understand its functioning and issues. (HT Photo)
Newly elected Chandigarh MP Manish Tewari on Friday also visited the MC office in Sector 17 to understand its functioning and issues. (HT Photo)

Lashing out at the BJP-led central government, city’s newly elected MP Manish Tewari said, “When the NDA/BJP government takes pride in providing free ration to 75 crore people, it is mind boggling that the Chandigarh administration rejected a unanimous resolution of the municipal corporation to provide free water to city residents, even though according to the administration, the total subsidy element is only 19.7 crore annually. This is not even a pittance of the 5,862.62-crore annual budget of Chandigarh. It does not require rocket science to discern the more than evident political partisanship manifest in this decision.”

“The INDIA bloc remains committed to its promise of providing 20,000 litres of free water to each household in Chandigarh and 300 units of free power to families that have an income of less than 20,000 a month,” Tewari asserted.

Terming UT administrator Banwarilal Purohit’s arbitrary order as “anti-people”, Rajiv Sharma, spokesperson of the Chandigarh Congress, on behalf of the party, alleged that the decision was taken under pressure of the BJP that was unable to forget its resounding defeat in the recent Lok Sabha elections.

Mayor Kuldeep Kumar Dhalor also declared, “We stand firm on our promises and we will protest if our demands are not met.”

Dr SS Ahluwalia, co-incharge of the Chandigarh AAP, termed the UT administration’s decision “very unfortunate”.

“The UT administrator rejected the free water proposal even before we could send him a detailed proposal. The mayor had proposed to the UT administrator that even after giving 20,000 litres of free water to the city residents, an additional profit of 18 crore can be obtained by closing the meters running illegally, but the administrator’s silence on it is a matter of great concern,” he said.

Meanwhile, Tewari on Friday also visited the MC office in Sector 17 to understand its functioning and issues. He was welcomed by the mayor, MC commissioner Anindita Mitra and other officers. Mitra gave a presentation about the civic body and its issues. Congress president HS Lucky accompanied Tewari.

FOSWAC flays decision to hike parking rates

The Federation of Sector Welfare Associations of Chandigarh (FOSWAC) also strongly opposed the UT administrator’s decision to hike the paid parking rates and not allow free water.

FOSWAC chairman Baljinder Singh Bittu claimed the increased parking rates were completely illegal. “Not only have the rates for four-wheelers been increased from 14 to 30, but 5 more will have to be paid on cash payment. The administrator has forgotten the problems of the common man. Before taking a decision, the administrator should have held a thorough discussion with the MP and the councillors. Also, water should be made available to people at minimum rates, if not free.”

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