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Mohali Paid Price For MLA vs Mayor Tussle

December 29, 2018 06:35 AM

COURTESY TOI DEC 29

Mohali Paid Price For MLA vs Mayor Tussle
Barinderjit.Saluja@timesgroup.com

Mohali residents had to struggle a lot this year due to the standoff between Cabinet minister Balbir Singh Sidhu, who is the local MLA, and SAD-BJP mayor Kulwant Singh.

Local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu had earlier this year issued orders for Kulwant’s suspension, but the orders were reversed within 60 minutes claiming that the mayor had been put under notice along with three other officers after taking a strong note of their alleged involvement in causing loss to the state exchequer. The order was against the MC’s decision to purchase a tree-pruning machine with its allied attachments for Rs 1.79 crore. The mayor filed a defamation suit and ultimately won the case. The tiff never reached its logical conclusion and since then the tree-pruning activity in Mohali came to standstill.


The next issue that led to a standoff was the stray cattle menace. The MC’s efforts to book stray cattle owners and impose fine on dairy owners was a nonstarter even after the municipal corporation transferred the tainted cattle catching team leader Kesar Singh due to his suspected connivance with dairy owners. The new team lodged a complaint with Kulwant alleging that the councillors were forcing them to release the impounded cattle.

The MC bid to end the stray cattle menace became futile as it failed to take immediate action. Many residents, especially those living in sectors adjoining villages, have been approaching the MC with their complaints. The MC only managed to send notices to 149-odd dairy owners but failed to get any FIRs registered against them.

ILLEGAL MINING CONTINUES

The Mohali administration failed to curb illegal mining in the district this year. Despite efforts of the administration to get FIRs lodged against illegal miners, the menace is rampant in the district. Chief minister Amarinder Singh had earlier this year issued strict instructions to the mining department through the deputy commissioners of all districts to come down heavily on illegal mining activities. “But,” Mohali deputy commissioner Gurpreet Kaur Sapra said, “it seems that even the orders of the chief minister have no impact on the mining department as they have taken it lightly and failed to curb the illegal mining in the district.” A day after Amarinder spotted illegal mining in Nawanshahr area, he had ordered a vigilance Inquiry into the alleged nexus between top officials and the illegal mining mafia in Derabassi as well. The report is yet to be submitted to the government. However there has been no respite from illegal mining which goes unabated in Khizrabad, Mullanpur, Parol, Majri, Derabassi, Mubarakpur and Kharar areas of Mohali

SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT PLANT

Since last decade, the Mohali administration has been trying to launch a solid waste management plant in Samgauli and the project that had an initial cost of Rs 31 crore has escalated. The project faced litigation as multiple owners emerged for 70% of the land and this led to delay, forcing the MC to face humiliation in cleanliness ranking. Mohali MC was able to get only 13 acres of the total 50 acres to be acquired for setting up the plant. The MC also deposited Rs 3 crore for with LAC-SDM Derabassi for acquisition of 50 acres of land. Later, it was discovered that the Punjab government in 2000 had declared the land as surplus, but the file pertaining to the order had gone missing from Derabassi. Deputy commissioner Gurpreet Kaur Sapra said the administration through Derabassi SDM lodged an FIR for the missing file and a copy was submitted in the court in the ongoing litigation regarding the ownership of the land. “We have submitted a report with finance commissioner, revenue, Punjab about the 35 acres of land in question that was actually declared surplus by the government in 2000. But the papers pertaining to the declaration have gone missing from Derabassi for which an FIR was lodged recently. Now, we are trying to reconstruct the file by collecting papers from the various sub-divisions so that it can be established that the said land falls under surplus land. If that is so, then there is no need to release the money for the land which belongs to government itself,” the DC said

COMING A

CROPPER

Despite hiring four Punjab Municipal Infrastructure Development Company (PMIDC) experts to assist the MC to conduct the Swachh Survekshan Survey-2018, Mohali failed to figure in the first list of top cities declared by the Union housing and urban affairs ministry. In the Swachh Survekshan 2017 survey, Mohali was declared the cleanest city in Punjab, but this time it failed to grab any position in the top spots declared by Swachh Survekshan 2018. Mohali lagged in the two most important components — open defecation and solid waste management. Last year, Mohali was ranked 121 with a score of 1,193 points out of 2,000 (59.65%)

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