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MC, PUDA lock horns on takeover of maintenance work
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, March 1
The Municipal Council and the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) have locked horns on takeover of the maintenance of parks and other civic amenities in certain parts of the town.

While PUDA has been pressing the council to take control of the amenities for the maintenance propose as they are, the latter has said it would do so only if these are in good shape at the time of handover. There seems to be a deadlock on the takeover issue with the civic body stating in no uncertain terms that it will not accept control from PUDA if the amenities are in a state of neglect.

Sources said that the Principal Secretary to the Local Government Department, Punjab, Mr B.R. Bajaj, directed the council, at a meeting held in Chandigarh on February 23, not to take over from PUDA the sewerage and the storm water system in Sectors 70 and 71 until repairs had been carried out and the choked portions cleared. PUDA should also be asked to provide the required number of road gullies in the area.

However, it was decided that the council could take over the work of water supply in Sector 70 and 71 from PUDA but this would be done after a joint inspection of the council and PUDA officials concerned was carried out in the coming months.

The sources said PUDA wanted to hand over 166 parks in different parts of the town to the council for maintenance. The area of the parks totalled 163.08 acres. It also wanted to transfer the control of over four green belts, three neighbourhood parks, the Leisure valley and a herbal park.

The council has said that in some of the parks which PUDA wanted to hand over there was no provision of water, lighting, footpaths, etc. The Principal Secretary insisted that the parks should be taken over only after these were put in proper shape. Besides, as the council was short of funds, there was no question of it taking on the financial burden of 150 employees which PUDA wanted to transfer to the charge of the civic body along with the parks.

PUDA also wanted to hand over the control of a fountain in a park in Sector 70 without handing over the park where the fountain had been set up. 

The council had raised an objection to the proposal of PUDA on the ground that if PUDA wanted to hand over the fountain, it should be done along with the maintenance of the park to the civic body. It is learnt the Principal Secretary stood by the stand of the council.

As far as the issue relating to the handing over of maintenance work of streetlight points and traffic signals in Sectors 66 to 69 and Kumbra village were concerned, the council said it could not take over the electrical work as the area did not fall within the municipal limits.


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