Mohali MC House meeting: Opposition corners mayor on issues of sanitation, lack of development

The issues of waterlogging in Phase XI, sanitation — or its lack thereof — and biases in carrying out development work in certain regions underlined Mohali civic body’s fiery general House meeting on Thursday, which saw 11 agendas being presented and passed.

On Thursday, the meeting of the civic body commenced after a two-minute silence was observed to pay respect to the Mayor Amarjeet Singh Sidhu’s mother, who had passed away last week.

Soon after, councillor Sukhdev Singh Patwari raised the issue of delay in holding the House meeting, and alleged that the delay was a deliberate effort to ignore the Opposition’s questions over lack of development and poor sanitation.

Patwari also raised the issue of poor sanitation in the city. He questioned the Mayor about inadequate number of sanitation workers and also questioned why the city had slipped in the Swachh Bharat rankings. Patwari said that due to negligence on part of the present civic body officials the people are suffering.

Patwari then went on to ask about the use of wood after pruning the trees. He alleged that the wood was being sold. The Mayor, however, countered by saying that that the wood was being stored and the councillors can check the same.

Former deputy mayor Manjeet Singh Sethi then alleged that some employees of the civic body were taking bribes from street vendors to allow them to illegally occupy spaces in the parking areas of markets, leading to traffic chaos.

Sethi then went on to name one such employee who he claimed had asked for a bribe and demanded strict action. Mayor Amarjeet Singh Sidhu then assured him of action against anyone found indulging in such practices.

Sethi also questioned the Mayor about not taking action on his complaint, wherein he claimed that contractors were shelling out 13 per cent commission to get work orders.

He said that he had written four letters to the Chief Minister (CM), and received a revert. But no action had been taken.

The Mayor replied to this by stating that it was upto the Vigilance Bureau (VB) to probe the matter.

Former senior deputy mayor Rishab Jain raised the issue of water logging in Phase XI, which falls in his ward.

He said that during the rainy season, the houses were submerged.

Jain alleged that despite repeated requests, no senior officer of the corporation had inspected the area and demanded a permanent solution of the problem.

MC Commissioner Navjot Kaur, however, refuted Jain’s allegations and said that she along with her team was focused on the area and senior officers were in touch with the area councillors.

While listing the reasons of water logging in the area, she said that the area was low lying and had paver blocks.

“The entire area is filled with paver blocks, which is causing the water logging,” she told the House.

Next, councillor Aruna Vashisht alleged that the wards of Opposition councillors are ignored for carrying out development works.

She alleged that there are wards where more than Rs. 5 crore was being spent, while in the neighbouring wards lay in a state of neglect.

Mayor Amarjeet Singh refuted the allegations and said that there was no bias in carrying out development work.

Councillor Rajinder Singh Rana next raised the issue of delay in the construction of the road connecting the city from Industrial Area Phase IX to Balongi, to which the Mayor informed that work on the same had started.

The agendas of naming of the parks in the city after Indian freedom fighter Shaheed Bhagat Singh, water supply to upcoming building of Punjab Biotechnology Incubator at Knowledge City, hiring of Junior Engineers (JEs), annual maintenance of street lights were passed unanimously.

Councillor sits on protest after House meeting Harjinder Kaur Baidwan, the councillor from ward number 33 sat on a protest outside the Mayor’s office after the House meeting ended on Thursday.

Baidwan said that she had been raising the issue of sanitation in her area but her demands had fallen on deaf ears so far.

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