Mohali industrial area’s upkeep stuck in red tape
Eight months after the Mohali municipal corporation House unanimously rejected a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for maintenance and development of certain parts of the Industrial Area falling under the civic body’s jurisdiction, the Punjab government has failed to take any decision on it.
The handover of the maintenance work of Phases 8A and 8B of the Industrial Area from Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation (PSIEC) to the municipal corporation (MC), which began a year ago, has also been caught up in a bureaucratic maze.
Both the developments have hit the maintenance of industrial areas, with the condition going from bad to worse.
In September last year, an SPV was notified under a Government of India scheme for the maintenance of industrial areas in Phases 4, 5, 7, 8, 8A, 8B, 9 and 9 (extension). To generate the revenue, it was to collect property tax and water supply and sewerage charges, which earlier went to the MC. In the House meeting last December 27, the councillors rejected this, stating that if the proposal is allowed, similar demands would start coming from other bodies.
A ray of hope was seen for Phases 8 and 8A earlier this year, but even that has come to naught. “We have handed over a list of 24 employees to the MC. They will work under the MC, which will pay them the salaries,” said a senior PSIEC official.
However, MC commissioner Kamal Kumar Garg said the list of employees was incomplete. “We asked PSIEC to give all details, including service records and pay scales, of employees. We are hopeful of starting the maintenance work soon,” he said.
It has been almost two decades since industrial focal points were created in Mohali, but basic amenities are still elusive. In absence of proper eating joints and recreational spots in Phases 7, 8, 8A and 8B, which are being projected as an IT hub, most professionals have no choice but to depend on roadside eateries.
Roads are in a dilapidated condition and get waterlogged every time it rains. Wild growth is rampant in every nook and corner. Even as ₹12 crore have been collected as property tax in the past three years, only ₹3 crore have been spent on development.
Yogesh Sagar, president, Mohali Industry Association, said: “The situation has gone from bad to worse. We held a meeting with the principal secretary, local bodies, who said the MC has been asked to consider the SPV but no response has been received. We urge both the MC and PSIEC to carry out maintenance work.”
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