Opposition parties decry proposal to merge Loni and Khoda nagar palikas with municipal corporation
Both local bodies of Khoda, comprising of 35 residential wards, and Loni, having 55 residential wards, have remained undeveloped and hence the proposal to merge them with the Ghaziabad municipal corporation was mooted
The officials of the Ghaziabad district administration have almost finalised a proposal to merge the nagar palikas of Khoda-Makanpur and Loni with the Ghaziabad municipal corporation, on the directions of Uttar Pradesh chief minister, a move that has been decried by opposition parties who see it as a move by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to wrest control from nagar palikas chaired by leaders from other political outfits.
The district officials said both local bodies of Khoda, comprising of 35 residential wards, and Loni, having 55 residential wards, have remained undeveloped and hence the proposal to merge them with the Ghaziabad municipal corporation, which already has 100 residential wards, was mooted.
“The proposal will be finalised by Wednesday and will be sent to the divisional commissioner for putting it before the state government. In the proposal, we have taken into account the jurisdiction area of Khoda and Loni, the existing population, number of wards, etc. Both the local bodies already have elected representatives. The merger requires approval of the board of the two local bodies or it can be done on the recommendation of the divisional commissioner, after a nod from the state government,” said Ranvijay Singh, additional district magistrate.
The Ghaziabad district at present has nine local bodies, including the Ghaziabad municipal corporation, four nagar palikas of Khoda, Loni, Modinagar and Muradnagar, besides four nagar panchayats of Patla, Niwari, Faridnagar and Dasna.
The public representatives said they raised issues affecting the two local bodies to chief minister Yogi Adityanath when he arrived in Ghaziabad ahead of the inauguration of the 17km priority section of the Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) project on October 20.
“During his visit, we apprised the chief minister about the issues pertaining to Loni and Khoda nagar palikas. Loni has remained undeveloped while Khoda has issues such as the absence of tapped water supply. The merger will root out corrupt practices and proper funding, manpower and resources can be diverted for the development of these nagar palikas,” said Nand Kishor Gurjar, Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Loni.
Khoda falls under the jurisdiction of Sahibabad assembly segment while Loni itself is one of the five assembly segments in Ghaziabad.
Sunil Sharma, BJP MLA from Sahibabad, could not be reached for comment.
In the local body polls in May this year, the BJP won the mayor seat of the municipal corporation but its candidates lost the three chairperson seats of Loni, Khoda and Muradnagar while retaining the chairperson seat of the Modinagar nagar palika.
The chairperson seats of Loni was won by Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), while an independent won the Khoda chairperson seat and Bahujan Samaj Party candidate won the Muradnagar chairperson seat.
“The merger is an attempt to bring both Loni and Khoda within the ambit of the municipal corporation. Since, the BJP lost three chairperson seats, they do not want the local bodies under the chairpersons of other parties carry on development works. By way of merging Loni and Khoda with the corporation, they want a hold on the two local bodies in an indirect manner,” said Amarpal Sharma, former MLA from Sahibabad.
He said during past several years, development has taken a back seat in Khoda and Loni and voters realised this during the election and ousted the BJP candidates.
“When it comes to development, the corporation itself is struggling to improve its 100 residential wards. So, how can it be expected to carry out works in two major local bodies of Khoda and Loni. In the past, we heard that division of states was carried out to achieve development of regions. Now, we are seeing the opposite -- a merger of two local bodies,” Sharma said.
BJP MLA Nand Kishor Gurjar did not agree with Sharma’s views.
“Had that been the case, we could have suggested the merger of Muradnagar nagar palika as well. The proposal should not be seen as a political move,” he insisted.