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Chandigarh

Posted at: Oct 31, 2019, 7:25 AM; last updated: Oct 31, 2019, 2:38 PM (IST)

MC Commissioner walks out after councillor’s jibe

None of 15 agenda items taken up; over Rs 1 lakh goes down the drain

Sandeep Rana

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 30

None of the 15 city development agenda items could be taken up at the monthly General House meeting of the Municipal Corporation as MC Commissioner KK Yadav staged a walkout following a jibe from BJP councillor Anil Dubey.

The small argument between the duo led to the cancellation of the meeting and cost the public exchequer over Rs 1 lakh.

The meeting, which started at 11 am, lasted about an hour. Councillor Dubey, while raising the issue of works not being done under the ward development fund, addressed the Commissioner, “...you become an IAS (officer) by clearing an examination. However, we have to give an exam every five years before the public.”

This angered the Commissioner, who retorted, “We have an exam with every file we move. We are always under the eye of the Vigilance and other agencies for our work...why are you targeting the IAS?...if you say, I will ask the Administration to make one of the councillors the Commissioner...”

Yadav then stood up and told the Mayor that the decorum of the House was not being maintained. Following this, he left the meeting and officers followed suit. Later, all councillors came together to the well of the House to raise the issue with Mayor Rajesh Kalia. Then, all of them went to the common councillors’ room, where they disused the matter.

In the meantime, Yadav left to meet UT Adviser Manoj Parida. Sources said Parida called up Kalia in this regard, after which he first held a personal meeting with the Commissioner. Later, the Mayor, Commissioner and Dubey sat in the former’s room to bury the hatchet. 

Sources said the Commissioner and a group of councillors agreed to attend the meeting later on, but a section of the councillors from both the BJP and the Congress were not in favour of the move.

Even, councillors of the ruling BJP were divided over whether to attend the meeting again or not. 

After much drama, all officers and councillors came to the House meeting at about 3 pm. The Mayor told the House that since little time was left, the meeting would be held on November 11. He blamed all this on shortage of funds. The meeting was concluded following the ritual of the national anthem without taking up any agenda.

Later, speaking to reporters, Kalia said, “The MC has no funds to carry out works. It is also the responsibility of the Adviser and the Administrator to arrange funds. I will soon seek time to meet the Union Finance Minister in this regard.” On the incident, he said, “We are a family and sometimes there are differences among members.”

Yadav told Chandigarh Tribune, “Since personal comments were passed in the House, I had gone out to wait for the situation to normalise. I met the Adviser only to inform him about the happening as he is the head. We later returned to the meeting, but the Mayor postponed it as he found the environment was not conducive.”              

Residents, Cong slam move

Residents slammed officers as well as councillors for wasting public money on the meeting and not deciding on any agenda item.

“It resulted in wasteful expenditure. The MC is already not in a condition to waste even a single penny. It will not leave a good impression on the public and will further deteriorate the situation,” said RK Garg, president, Second Innings Association.

“It is a wastage of public money. The Commissioner is boycotting the meeting and councillors are holding their own meeting over tea and snacks. They have failed to resolve the waste dumping ground issue,” said Dyal Krishan of the Dumping Ground Joint Action Committee.             

Chandigarh Congress president Pardeep Chhabra condemned BJP leaders and councillors, saying that for the first time in the history of the civic body, all officers had boycotted the meeting, including the Commissioner, and it was very unfortunate.

“Councillors of the BJP want to pressure officers to get their work done. When the Mayor is from the BJP, allegations of corruption come up  against them.  The MC should now be named ‘Maha Corrupt Corporation. There are always reports of corruption in the tender process,” he alleged.

How much is spent on a House meeting

Rs 35,000 Rs 1,000 honorarium each paid to 35 councillors

Rs 50,000- Rs 70,000 Lunch, tea and snacks     

Rs 23,000Agenda items (stationery)

Miscellaneous: Electricity and other overhead expenses

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