Mohali MC House meeting: Opposition corners mayor over sanitation and lack of development issues

Problems with Phase XI waterlogging, sanitation – or lack thereof – and biases in carrying out development work in some areas highlighted the Mohali civic body’s spirited general meeting on Thursday, which saw 11 agendas presented and adopted.

The civic body’s meeting on Thursday began after a two-minute silence was observed to pay tribute to Mayor Amarjeet Singh Sidhu’s mother, who died last week.

Shortly after, Councilor Sukhdev Singh Patwari raised the issue of the delay in holding the House meeting, and alleged that the delay was a deliberate effort to ignore opposition questions about lack of development and lack of sanitation.

Patwari also raised the issue of poor sanitation in the city. He questioned the mayor on the insufficient number of sanitation workers and also asked why the city had slipped in the Swachh Bharat ranking. Patwari said that due to the negligence of part of the current civic body officials, the people are suffering.

Patwari then asked about the use of wood after tree pruning. He alleged that the wood was being sold. The mayor, however, countered by saying that the wood was in storage and councilors could check the same.

Former deputy mayor Manjeet Singh Sethi then alleged that some employees of the civic body received bribes from street vendors to allow them to illegally occupy spaces in market car parks, leading to chaos Traffic.

Sethi then named one such employee who he believed had demanded a bribe and demanded strict action. Mayor Amarjeet Singh Sidhu then assured him to take action against anyone who engaged in such practices.

Sethi also questioned the mayor about his failure to follow up on his complaint, in which he claimed contractors were paying 13% commission to obtain work orders.

He said he wrote four letters to the Chief Minister (CM) and received one back. But no action had been taken.

The Mayor replied to this by specifying that it was up to the Vigilance Office (VB) to probe the question.

Former Senior Deputy Mayor Rishab Jain raised the issue of waterlogging in phase XI, which falls in his ward.

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

Jain alleged that despite repeated requests, no senior company executive had inspected the area and demanded a permanent solution to the problem.

MC commissioner Navjot Kaur, however, refuted Jain’s claims and said she and her team were focused on the area and senior officers were in contact with advisers in the area.

While listing the reasons for the waterlogging in the area, she said the area was low lying and had cobblestones.

“The whole area is filled with cobblestones, which causes the waterlogging,” she told the House.

Next, Councilor Aruna Vashisht alleged that the neighborhoods of opposition councilors are ignored for carrying out development work.

She alleged that there are neighborhoods where more than Rs. 5 crore was spent, while neighboring neighborhoods were in a state of neglect.

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

Councilor Rajinder Singh Rana then raised the issue of the delay in the construction of the road linking the city from the Phase IX Industrial Estate to Balongi, to which the Mayor informed that work had started.

Agendas to name city parks after Indian freedom fighter Shaheed Bhagat Singh, water supply for Punjab’s next biotech incubator building in Knowledge City, hiring junior engineers ( JE), the annual maintenance of streetlights were adopted unanimously.

Councilor sits in protest after House meeting Harjinder Kaur Baidwan, Ward Number 33 Councilor sits in a protest outside the Mayor’s office after the House meeting ended on Thursday.

Baidwan said she raised the issue of sanitation in her area, but her demands have so far gone unheeded.

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