Merger of the remaining 13 out of the 22 villages falling under the jurisdiction of the Chandigarh Administration with the Municipal Corporation (MC) was a good decision. With these villages coming under the umbrella of the MC, developmental activities in these areas should have gathered pace in uniformity with other nine villages for which the MC is already taking care. With this, no ill feelings amongst residents of all villages would have been there as far as facilities and maintenance of the infrastructure is concerned. This is mainly because panchayats have lesser funds and engineering capabilities/resources available with them as compared to the MC, which is much bigger organisation having trained staff and also the required machinery. The UT Administration along with its Engineering Department and the MC should work in tandem to provide basic facilities of sanitation, power and water supply and other amenities, which are being provided to rest of the city. Villages are also part of the UT and their residents also deserve all the amenities, which others are enjoying. The government should strengthen the MC financially by increasing its Budget allocation so that it can properly execute developmental projects in 13 villages.
Sanjay Chopra, Mohali
Why are political parties mum on issue?
The MC is always in limbo because of its own doings. Was the Chandigarh Administration cocksure before taking drastic step of merging 13 villages with the Municipal Corporation about handling challenges it would face for providing basic amenities. The persistent water issue around the Chandigarh periphery is so inhuman. People are always stuck in the whirlwind of politics of the Administration and the MC. Why political parties are mum now? It is their moral duty to help when a society faces any crisis. The MC should solve the civic issues as well as water shortage at earliest.
Opinder Kaur Sekhon, Chandigarh
MC is burdened with merger of villages
The merger of 13 villages with the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation seems to be more political compulsion rather than for improving welfare of villagers. The villages in the Chandigarh are voting hubof different political parties. Their merger must follow development works, including provision of safe drinking water and laying sewerage for clean and safe environment. Actually the Administration must cater to the additional requirement of services to be provided to the merged villages. The city is already reeling under acute shortage of water in peak summer. The merger of villages with the MC will put more pressure on the civic body to meet the requirement. The unauthorised construction for hotels, guest houses, PGs and other business establishments must also be curbed in these villages in order to keep these areas free from congestion. The merger of villages will also put load on roads, transport, educational institutes, electricity, parking lots and markets, which falls under the purview of the Chandigarh Administration.
Wg Cdr Jasbir Minhas (retd), Mohali
Revamp panchayats in villages under UT
The Chandigarh Administration has merged 13 villages in the UT with the Municipal Corporation. This merger without providing the basic amenities is like putting the cart before the horse. Villages outside the Lal Dora lack basic facilities, which are enjoyed by residents of Chandigarh. Why has the Administration taken this step when 13 villages are not provided facilities on par with the city? The MC must link these villages with roads and local bus service. These villages need health centres, schools, sanitation, water supply, police stations and elected representatives in the MC. Does the MC has enough finances and work force to provide all basic amenities to these villages? Will it not burden the MC? Why should the people in these villages be burdened with property and other taxes, which they are not presently paying to panchayats. Rather, the UT Administration must revamp the panchayat system in villages under its jurisdiction.
Capt Amar Jeet Kumar (retd), Mohali
Living conditions need proper attention
The condition of 13 villages, which were merged with the Municipal Corporation by the Chandigarh Administration recently, is not satisfactory. The authorities should give proper attention to improve living conditions in these villages. They should either construct or repair all roads in villages. Health services and education facilities should be provided in each village. Proper arrangements to maintain cleanliness should be made. Reading rooms should be constructed at common place where people can sit together and read newspapers and magazines. Play grounds must be provided for children in all villages. Electricity and water are the basic necessities, which are must for each village. People should be motivated to save water and grow more trees for clean air. The dumping ground should be shifted to a place distant from the residential area. All villages should be connected with Chandigarh by local buses. The police should be deployed to enhance security in the rural areas.
Sumesh Kumar Badhwar, Mohali
Admn cannot shun its responsibility
Firstly, the Chandigarh Administration should have looked into the feasibility of merging 13 villages with the Municipal Corporation. Now, when the decision has already been taken, then it becomes duty of the MC to provide all basic amenities, including water to these villages, without citing any lame excuses. The people of these villages have rights at par with residents of Chandigarh. The condition of lal dora should not be a barrier in providing the basic amenities to villagers. Also it is the right of every citizen to get the basic facilities irrespective of the area where he lives. The MC cannot shy away from its responsibility of providing the basic amenities to 13 villages.
Bir Devinder Singh Bedi, Chandigarh
Civic body should Prepare road map
The Chandigarh Administration is duty bound to provide the basic amenties to the population living in the city and villages under its jurisdiction. The 13 villages, which were merged with the MC recently, also deserve all the civic amenities at par with other areas within the civic body limits. But all this cannot happen overnight as the Rome was not built in a day. The MC should prepare a road map for providing civic amenities and prioritise works to be undertaken first like supplying water and electricity, building and repairing roads, providing education, medical and transport facilities keeping in view the availability of funds and the cost involved. A systematic approach will definitely yield the desired results. The MC after solving the civic issues of inhabitants living within its limits may take up problems of people living outside the lal dora. Providing basic civic amenities can become reality if work is done with proper planning albeit it may take time.
Rajender Kumar Garg , Zirakpur
Constitute urban villages’ board
The MC staff, as on date today, cannot handle a planned city. Just a mere thought of the MC team handling urban villages has started giving nightmares to the authorities concerned. The MC is totally incompetent. For this specific purpose, it is proposed that an urban villages board, like a cantonment board be constituted, whose members can be village elders. The funding of the board can be done through the MC, the UT Administration or other sources, but its management should be in the hands of locals, with an IAS officer as the CEO, to handle the top-level budgeting and the administration. The issues of these urban villages will remain forever. Whatever the UT Administration may do the village panchayats will rule the roost. The issues that need to be addressed in urban villages are potable water to each household, proper electricity connections as per load, clean sewerage, garbage and waste management at the doorstep, water tankers for nomadic residents of urban villages, community centres for family and public functions, health centres with doctor and compounder in attendance in morning and evening hours, proper street lighting, tarred roads and playgrounds with swings for children. Besides, access to the public transport is the key. In a nutshell, Chandigarh Urban Villages Board (CUVB) can be formed to ensure that each person in the UT is covered with the same conveniences without any discrimination or prejudice so that the city can really be called a “Smart City”.
Rajiv Boolchand Jain, Zirakpur
It’s duty of MC
Yes, it’s the duty of the Municipal Corporation to provide basic amenities to all residents of the 13 villages acquired by it whether they live inside or outside the lal dora. Water, electricity and toilet facilities are a must for all living beings.
RK Kapoor, Chandigarh
Don’t discriminate people beyond lal dora
There shouldn’t be any discrimination with residents living out side lal dora with respect to providing basic amenities and infrastructure. When the MC House has decided to merge all 13 villages in the Union Territory of Chandigarh with the civic body, it is obligatory on part of the Administration to extend all facilities to the people as it is their right. Funds should not be any constraint. Only misuse of government money is to be curbed. Moreover, more funds should be allocated for these merged villages.
Deepak Khanna, Chandigarh
MC should seek more funds
After a prolonged struggle by the MC, the UT Administration has transferred 13 villages to the civic body for the administrative control. Though villages transferred to the MC may have main facilities, the civic body will have to review and streamline the functioning of these facilities to the satisfaction of villagers. To provide and maintain civic amenities in the transferred villages, additional funds may be required. In the present scenario the MC might not be able to generate enough funds through taxes and may require grant-in-aid from the Administration, which has already refused to provide finances to the civic body. It will hamper execution of all development works in the city, which might come to a stand still. The MC should request the Administration to provide matching funds otherwise the civic body will face similar situation in the transferred villages.
AS Ahuja, Chandigarh
No to politics, vote bank policy
The residents of 13 villages, which were merged with the Municipal Corporation recently, have the privilege to seek quality basic civic amenities from the Chandigarh Administration. The projects, including drinking water supply, proper illumination of roads and streets, uninterrupted power, improvement in sanitary conditions, collection of waste, community health and education should be undertaken to ensure quality life in these villages. Sufficient funds should be arranged and exclusively earmarked for the time-bound completion of these projects. The people, who had residential properties outside ‘lal dora’, before the merger of 13 villages with the MC also deserve basic amenities. Steps may be taken for the regularisation of their properties. No politics and vote bank policy should be involved in providing genuine amenities to the innocent public.
Bhupinder S Sealopal, Chandigarh
Upgrade existing facilities in villages
Thirteen villages were merged with the MC with good intentions of providing residents all basic amenities in order to improve their lives. There will be some problems in providing basic amenities in these unplanned villages. But the MC will have to find a solution as residents have a right to basic amenities. The first step should be to upgrade the already existing facilities. The authorities must make sure that electricity and water supply are provided through metered connections. Residents living outside lal dora with approved plans of their buildings should also be provided basic amenities. Secondly the health, sanitation and transportation facilities should be upgraded to enable villagers call themselves proud Chandigarhians.
Bharat Bhushan Sharma, Chandigarh
An unfortunate decision of admn
It is unfortunate that the Administration has merged 13 villages with the MC. I feel this exercise was undertaken without doing proper home work. Perhaps this move was a part of a revenue generation exercise to help the civic body, which is facing financial crisis. However, in the absence of proper set up villagers are facing many civic issues, including water crisis. They are suffering without any fault of theirs. The authorities have put burden on villagers without giving any facilities. Now, the MC should complete projects within time so that villages get the basic amenities. Stern action should be taken against officials, who have approved this merger and responsibilities must be fixed.
Vidya Sagar Garg, Panchkula
Administrator should intervene
Ever since carving of Chandigarh, 13 villages on its periphery remained out of the MC jurisdiction. In November, 2018, a laudable step was taken by the Chandigarh Administration to bring these villages within the MC limits. With this subjects of these villages stand at par with the city residents for all the civic facilities and even levy of various taxes as applicable in the UT. But even after the lapse of almost six months, the basic need of portable water and 24x7 power remains a distant dream and what to talk of other infrastructure. Therefore, the resentment of the public and raising their voice is fully justified. Agreed Chandigarh is facing acute shortage of water since against demand of 110 MGD, the availability is only 87 MGD. But for the ill planning of the authorities the public can’t be made to suffer. The demand in villages, however, can be augmented through water tankers. The issue, therefore, needs to be examined at the highest administrative level may be with the intervention of UT Administrator to expedite completion of the ongoing Phase IV and V of the Kajoli Waterworks in a time bound manner to mitigate public crises at least before next summer.
SS Arora, Mohali
Villages must have modern facilities
Once these 13 villages have been included in the MC, it is the responsibility of the civic body to look after them like it does for the City Beautiful. Foremost, it must carry out a survey and prioritise their needs. Rightfully, look at the basic amenities first like electric supply and drinking water. Thereafter, improve the standard of government schools and bring in accountability of teachers and education officers. Afterwards, attend to the Health Department. Equip hospitals and health clinics adequately with the staff and facilities. Along with it, ensure cleanliness in villages as also the availability of toilets. Can the MC do it? Yes it can, provided there is a will, and the MP regularly visits villages.
Col RD Singh (retd), Ambala Cantt
Commercial activity outside lal dora
The Municipal Corporation has put an end to panchayat system in 13 villages of Chandigarh. It is noteworthy that the Administration has appointed MC Commissioner as the authority for the development and provision of civic amenities like water, electricity, roads and sewerage in the UT and villages recently. Commercial centres and high-end colonies, which have come up on the land beyond lal dora meant to be used for non-agricultural purposes, need to be looked into by the Municipal Commissioner as per the law. Medical facilities in these villages apart from education should be taken up on priority basis.
Harish Kapur, Chandigarh
First provide basic amenities
The Administration has taken decision to transfer 13 villages to the Municipal Corporation without giving a serious thought on whether these villages have the basic amenities or not. As the MC is already facing a serious financial crunch, it is not possible for it to provide regular civic amenities like water, power, sanitation and medical facilities. In the absence of civic amenities inhabitants of villages like Raipur Khurd, Kishangarh, Daria and others are resorting to protests. It is not out of place to mention here that dispensaries, which were transferred to villages in 2010, are in a dismal state. Looking at the gravity of the situation, the Administration should first provide the requisite facilities and then transfer villages to the MC. Otherwise this will prove a burden for the MC and residents will continue to face onslaught.
SK Khosla, Chandigarh
Access to education gateway to amenities
Civic amenities refers to facilities provided by the government and the Municipal Corporation for common people, which include services like clean water, electricity, sanitation, roads, drains, street lights, collection and disposal of solid waste and toilets. The government has taken initiative to provide basic amenities to the people, but lack of education seems to be key determinant to avail these facilities. Many schemes such as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) and Nirmal Bharat Abhiyaan (NBA) could not enhance quality of life in villages. Foremost step should be educating villagers of all age group, which would help change their mindset. The higher authorities should keep strict vigil on the MC so that funds allocated for the public welfare is not diverted and utilised for enhancement of the basic amenities in villages.
Charu Malhotra, Mohali
Merger will add to mismanagement
Merger of 13 villages by the Administration has just increased MC’s mismanagement ambit. So terrible is its impact, that the public could only understand that the MC is “maintaining corruption”. There is no hope for residents living outside the ‘lal dora’ that the MC will provide basic amenities, except that its income may increase through taxes. Villages definitely deserve civic amenities, but we need to wake up the MC authorities to get desired results.— MPS Chadha, Mohali
Basic amenities residents’ right
A person may be living in a village or city, but he has right to basic amenities, including regular water and electricity supply, clean sewerage, hospitals, health centres, security and clean environment. Same goes with the 13 villages, which were merged by the Chandigarh Administration with the Municipal Corporation recently. For providing civic amenities the MC needs funds. In the present scenario, the civic body is facing acute financial crunch as its Budget has been reduced considerably. The Administration must provide funds liberally to the MC so that the villages can be brought at par with Chandigarh in terms of providing basic amenities to residents. — HS Gill, Chandigarh
MC can levy charges
It is duty of the Municipal Corporation to provide water to villages. Initially, expenditure incurred for providing the basic amenities can be recovered from residents. The consent of representatives of villages may be taken in this regard. The Municipal Corporation should also bear some expenditure from its own resources for the purpose.— Tarlok Singh, Mani Majra
With the rise in temperature the number of fire incidents have increased manifold in the tricity. Goods worth lakhs are gutted in such mishaps. The fear of loss of life and property in such incidents looms large. What measures do you suggest the Administration should take to prevent fire incidents in the future?
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