HC restrains Haryana govt from bifurcating Panchkula civic body

Stalled: A councillor had petitioned the high court against a report by a panel favouring bifurcation of the MC.

punjab Updated: Jan 30, 2018 15:50 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Punjab and Haryana high court,HC stays Haryana,Panchkula civic body
Punjab and Haryana high court(HT File )

The Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday restrained the Haryana government from bifurcating the Panchkula municipal corporation (MC) into separate civic bodies for Panchkula, and Pinjore and Kalka.

In favour of bifurcation
  • Geographical disconnectivity of Panchkula with Pinjore and Kalka
  • Kalka and Pinjore have separate administrative and police structure. As such, locals feel it is not fair for them to depend upon the Panchkula corporation whose head office was miles away in Panchkula city
  • Kalka and Pinjore can have a council status as their current population, along with 28 villages, is nearly 1.28 lakh. Council status requires population above 1 lakh
  • Panchkula corporation can sustain on its own after excluding Pinjore and Kalka, as the city, along with 21 villages of its catchment, has a population of 3.31 lakh, which is sufficient for corporation status

The order was passed on a petition by Satinder Singh Tony, a councillor, who represents MC’s ward number 4 that comprises Pinjore. Tony had challenged a report by Ambala divisional commissioner that favoured bifurcation of the Panchkula MC.

“The Haryana government could not submit a reply on the petition filed on January 10. The court has now directed the government to not pass any order on the recommendation of the report recommending bifurcation while the matter is sub-judice,” Tony’s counsel Karanvir Singh Khehar said, adding the government, too, had suggested that it will not take a decision in the matter.

A detailed order from the court of justice Daya Chaudhary is awaited, while the next hearing is scheduled on February 27.

A panel headed by the Ambala divisional commissioner, constituted by the government following a demand by BJP legislators from Kalka and Panchkula , had recommended separation of Kalka and Pinjore from the corporation.

Against bifurcation
  • The process of alteration of limits was started without consulting the councillors concerned
  • The population of a town should not be less than 3 lakh for corporation status. As per the 2011 Census figure, Panchkula city has population 2.67 lakh
  • The General House of MC resolved in favour of a combined MC, but the Ambala divisional commissioner did not take it into account
  • The projected population of Panchkula areas, after separation of Kalka and Pinjore, has been shown as 3.31 lakh, which is not as per Census 2011.

The corporation was formed in 2010, during the regime of previous Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Congress government, after including Panchkula, Pinjore and Kalka’s municipal bodies, amid widespread discontent among residents of Pinjore and Kalka, who cited geographical disconnect between these towns.

In high court, Tony had argued that population was an important criteria to form or abolish a corporation, and as per rules, the last published figure of population in Indian Census report was to be considered.

However, the divisional commissioner-headed panel considered the decennial growth rate up till 2017 to bifurcate the corporation.

Areas after bifurcation

A corporation inclusive of Panchkula city and 21 villages in its catchment, and a common council for Kalka and Pinjore towns.

First Published: Jan 30, 2018 12:56 IST