Haryana cabinet to take call on dissolving Panchkula MC: CM Khattar

The inclusion of Kalka and Pinjore in Panchkula municipal body has courted controversy.

punjab Updated: Dec 03, 2017 21:04 IST
Vivek Gupta
Vivek Gupta
Hindustan Times, Panchkula
Manohar Lal Khattar,Haryana,Panchkula
(From left) Kalka MLA Latika Sharma, Panchkula MLA Gian Chand Gupta and Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar during a function at the mini secretariat in Panchkula on Saturday.(Sant Arora/HT)

Nearly a month after Bharatiya Janata Party legislator from Kalka, Latika Sharma, moved a formal request with the state government to dissolve the Panchkula municipal corporation for better development of areas falling in her constituency, Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar said on Saturday that the matter will soon be discussed in the state cabinet.

“We will take the final decision keeping in view the ground situation and the cabinet’s consent,” said Khattar, who was in Panchkula to inaugurate a multilevel parking-cum-administrative office at the mini secretariat.

Sources said the state government can legally dissolve a corporation six months before its elections are due. The term of the present House, which was constituted in 2013, ends in July next year.

Both MLAs in favour

The CM’s comment gains significance in the backdrop of an open resentment among the party’s local leaders over the civic body’s performance in the past few years.

They have been questioning the creation of the corporation by merging the Panchkula council with municipal committees of Pinjore and Kalka during the previous Congress regime in 2010.

Talking to HT, Latika Sharma said the merger of these three civic bodies into one big corporation, which are otherwise geographically separated, was a ploy of the previous Congress chief minister to benefit the real estate lobby mushrooming in Pinjore.

“This experiment has miserably failed as ever since the corporation’s first election in 2013, there has been no development in Pinjore. Villages that came under the corporation are the worst in terms of development,” she said.

Even in the recent HT series on the state of Panchkula, people of Pinjore and Kalka demanded creation of a separate civic body for their area. Panchkula MLA Gian Chand Gupta, too, is in the favour of dissolving the corporation.

Gupta said the merger did not work well. Even the city’s development got affected due to the shifting of limited manpower, he said.

“Panchkula needs a full-fledged corporation for better development and funds, but we should wait till the time it has the population required to become a corporation,” he said.

The MLA said as per municipal norms, a population of 3 lakh is required to constitute a corporation, which the city is expected to achieve by the time the census is finished in 2021. According to the 2011 census, the population of Panchkula urban area was 2.1 lakh.

“The previous government added Pinjore and Kalka to create a corporation for the sake of meeting the population criterion. It did not work because there was no rationality behind the decision,” he said.

The Panchkula corporation is currently headed by Congress mayor Upinder Kaur Walia, who has blamed Gupta for the city’s poor civic condition.

However, road projects worth Rs 30 crore have been cleared after the joining of new commissioner Rajesh Jogpal in September.

First Published: Dec 03, 2017 16:57 IST