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Community centres in Panchkula a picture of neglect

Leaking roofs, unkempt lawns, old furniture, choked washrooms, in most of the community centres are in urgent need of repair

punjab Updated: Mar 12, 2018 11:53 IST
Vivek Gupta
Vivek Gupta
Hindustan Times, Panchkula
Community centres,Panchkula,unkempt lawns
A broken boundary wall of Sector 11 community centre in Panchkula. (Sant Arora/HT)

At a time when Chandigarh municipal corporation has raised the bar of facilities at their community centres, the community centres in Panchkula are in a shambles. The city has 14 community centres, all set up at prime locations. Majority of these centres are a picture of neglect.

The washrooms, kitchens, doors and walls in most of the community centres are in urgent need of repair while the leaking roofs, unkempt lawns, old furniture are also the areas of concern. Mostly centres have a huge land bank, close to one acre, and are utilised only for marriage or family functions.

Fact file
  • The city has 14 community centres in Sector 7,9,10, 11, 12, 12A, 15, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, Mansa Devi Complex; Sector 4 and 5 and all are non air conditioned.
  • City residents say that they pay Rs 18,300 per day for booking these centres.
  • MC does not have any policy for the multiple usage of these centres
  • No policy for providing facilities like gym, indoor games, library and other activities.

As per information, majority of functions are held at community during marriage season as for the rest of the time they remained closed. The proposal to start libraries and indoor games for children was mooted countless times in past one decade but the implementation has still not seen the light of the day.

Shabby conditions

A visit to Sector 10 community centre, city’s prime location, reveal the misplaced priorities of municipal corporation(MC), contrasting their development claims.

Plaster falling off a wall in the Sector 10 community centre in Panchkula. (Sant Arora/HT)

The washroom was stinking and lying choked. Junior engineer (JE) of the area was informed about it but he did not do anything. “During the functions, when loud music is played in the hall, I fear that plaster in the roof will fall as it is in a delicate condition,” said caretaker Arun Kumar.

He said, previously, the construction at the entrance fell down but no one was hurt.

There is a cooking area adjoining the main hall. But there is no provision of water drainage due to which, the stagnant water has turned muddy. Arun said that he had brought the matter to the notice of municipal corporation but to no avail.

Leaking roofs

Situation was similar in Sector 9 community centre. Roof of the centre was leaking. Unkempt lawns, faded walls and bad condition of toilets narrated a sad tale. A library that was once opened by local resident welfare association (RWA) was locked. Window panes in first floor were broken. Caretaker Prem said that the matter was already in the notice of higher authorities.

Other centres

The entrance wall of Sector 11 community centre was broken and has not been repaired for last six months. The Sector 15 community centre also has issues of maintenance with different areas crying for repairs.

Improvement in phased manner: MC chief

Municipal commissioner Rajesh Jogpal confessed that the condition of Panchkula community centres is in a dilapidated state and he is in the course of correction for improvement there.

He said, “Estimates to rebuild two community centres, in Sector 10 and 15 are being prepared.” “The repair work in Sector 19 community centre is already underway. Other community centres will be taken up in a phased manner,” said Jogpal.

On being asked about adding facilities like gyms and indoor games as mooted in Chandigarh community centres, Jogpal said that an overall policy on the usage of community centre in Panchkula is being prepared. All these issues will be addressed in it, he said.

They say

“Community centres in Panchkula are located at prime locations but they are all underutilised. The proposal to start sector specific activities like indoor games for children, library, sewa kendras are hanging fire for long. MC should play a proactive role,” BB Singhal, former councillor, said.

“Earlier these community centres were under Huda but were transferred to the municipal corporation after one and a half year. Both the agencies ignored the centres. MC has funds but lacks intention to improve the system,” SK Nayyar, Citizen Welfare Association president, said.

Kulbhushan Goyal, INLD leader, said, “These community centres have huge scope of development but the properties are laying wasted. Sadly, the city has not developed an inch under the current ruling dispensation.”

First Published: Mar 12, 2018 11:46 IST