40 Punjab municipal bodies will go to polls in December: Navjot Singh Sidhu
The minister said once the delimitation gets over, they will invite objections from residents and then update voters’ list.
Local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu said this while speaking to mediapersons on Tuesday. The five-year term of the four municipal corporations came to an end on September 10, after which the general houses ceased to exist. The government has put these under the control of ‘administrators’, who are municipal commissioners.
The state has a total of 10 municipal corporations.
Sidhu said the election was delayed because delimitation of wards in the corporations was a time-consuming process. It has been completed in three corporations except Ludhiana. He said the number of wards would go up from 65 to 85 in Amritsar, 60 to 80 in Jalandhar, from 50 to 60 in Patiala and from 75 to 95 in Ludhiana. “After the fresh delimitation, each ward will have 11,000 to 13,000 population,” said Sidhu.
The minister said once the delimitation gets over, they will invite objections from residents and then update voters’ list. Sidhu, who was accompanied by his adviser Amar Singh and additional chief secretary (local government) Satish Chandra, said his department would issue a vision document for each corporation. He will campaign in the poll once the elections are announced, he said.
‘DELAY IN DEVELOPMENT FUNDS’
Sidhu said due to the rollout of the Goods and Service Tax (GST) regime, transfer of funds from the Centre got delayed. “In the value added tax (VAT) regime, we used to get Rs 1,600 crore for out civic bodies, which so far has not arrived since the GST wcame into force,” he said.
Of the 10 municipal corporations, only the Mohali civic body is self-sufficient in the sense that it could run its day-to-day operations from its revenues. Sidhu said the local bodies department has been giving funds to the corporations from state coffers and development works have started taking place.