Open House: Should Chandigarh MC provide free water, parking facilities to residents? : The Tribune India

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Open House: Should Chandigarh MC provide free water, parking facilities to residents?

Freebies result in wastage, offer concession instead

Open House: Should Chandigarh MC provide free water, parking facilities to residents?

Smart water meters installed at Mani Majra in Chandigarh. - File photo

Free water distribution is surely going to lead to wastage also. Day by day, water is becoming scarce and it needs to be preserved. The authorities have to incur expenditure to make the water potable. However, free parking for first 20 minutes is a welcome step. The operator must, however, ensure that vehicles are parked in an organised manner. At several places like Sector 8-C, parking contractors are seen not caring two hoots about the vehicles are parked, making it difficult to get out of the lot.

NPS Sohal, Chandigarh

Free water will result in wastage

Provision of free water will only increase its misuse and wastage. We should act responsibly and must pass on to our future generations what we had inherited. Water should not be made free as taxpayers' money is meant for improving infrastructure, not to fund freebies.

SK Singh

Abstain from vote bank politics

Instead of resorting to cheap vote bank politics of providing free water supply, the MC should invest in improving the supply of clean drinking water at a reasonable cost to every household. Timely maintenance and upgrading of infrastructure are much more important than free supply. Free parking should also be discouraged and orderly parking of vehicles should be ensured at every parking lot.

KC Rana, Chandigarh

Political Parties’ ploy to cling to power

Free water and parking as proposed by AAP and the Congress are not welcome. It would make residents dependent on the system and in turn on political parties, which is their way of remaining in power. Why should people who pay for other facilities be given free water, travel, education, etc?

Capt Amar Jeet (retd), Kharar

MPs, MLAs getting such facilities

There is nothing wrong in the promises of free 20,000 litres of water in a month to the residents of Chandigarh and free parking. All MPs and MLAs are getting these facilities. Why should public, who have appointed them, be deprived of these facilities. If these are considered burden, then it should not be provided to anybody, be it elected public representatives or officialdom.

Naib Singh Karsan

Anything given free loses its worth

The UT Administrator appears to be fully justified in rejecting the resolution on free water and parking passed by the MC House at the behest of the AAP-Congress alliance. Since anything given for free loses its real worth, these facilities should in no case be provided free of cost. In all fairness, the city residents should act reasonably and responsibly too as the government pays huge cost for making facilities available to them.

Kumar Gupt, Panchkula

Don’t make people lazy, dependent

Culture of freebies by political parties to gain votes must be avoided at all costs. Work culture should be encouraged rather so that people work and get paid. Freebies will make them lazy and dependant on others. The authorities must focus on education, medical and improving living standard of people living below poverty line.

Col TBS Bedi, Mohali

Move to make society irresponsible

History has proved that freebies have neither been a good idea nor successful in the long run. Free water will result in excessive wastage, making society irresponsible and insensitive towards the natural resource. Can't we learn from our immediate neighbouring state? Free electricity in Punjab has burnt a big hole in the govt's pocket by owing Rs 29,659 crore to the PSPCL, thereby putting infrastructural upgrades on the back burner.

Brig Advitya Madan, Chandigarh

Give subsidy only to low-income groups

Providing free water and parking could enhance residents' quality of life, but balancing fiscal responsibility and resource management is crucial. Instead, consider subsidised rates for low-income households, incentivising water conservation and implementing tiered parking fee based on the type of vehicle. These measures would ensure equitable access while promoting sustainability and financial health. Collaboration between government and citizens is essential to tailor solutions that address both immediate needs and long-term goals.

Gaganpreet Singh, Mohali

Consider sliding scale for charges

Consider implementing a sliding scale for water charges on the basis of income, offering discounts for eco-friendly practices and creating a tiered parking fee structure. Additionally, invest in public awareness campaigns about water conservation and sustainable transportation. These strategies promote fairness and community engagement, balancing residents' needs with the city's financial and ecological sustainability.

Amanjot Kaur, Mohali

Balance public service, resources

While free water and parking are appealing amenities, their sustainability must be considered before going ahead with such proposals. Try an approach where basic needs are met free and additional usage incurs a fee. Balance resource conservation with public service. This could encourage responsible usage while still providing essential services to all residents.

Sargunpreet Kaur, Mohali

Administrator has been unfair to city

The UT Administrator-cum-Punjab Governor's is meting out step-motherly treatment to Chandigarh and Punjab. Residents want to know what he has done for Chandigarh? The long promised 24x7 water supply is not fulfilled. People are being charged for just few hours of water supply. There is no proper parking facility anywhere in the city, but fee is charged at every parking lot.

Opinder Kaur Sekhon, Chandigarh

Better to keep water tariff on lower side

Instead of providing free water, its rates should be kept low. Under the 24x7 water supply project, pipes were changed in Mani Majra following which water pressure has become low. What is the use of 24-hour supply if water is not reaching upper floors and overhead tanks. Residents are suffering in this hot summer. Moreover, no body desired 24-hour supply. Residents only needed regular supply with adequate pressure.

IPS Anand, Mani Majra

Ensure such steps are sustainable

While providing free water and parking may be appealing to residents, the long-term financial sustainability of such measures should be carefully considered. The UT Administrator's concerns about the costs and potential, unintended consequences of these proposals should be taken into account in determining the best way to serve the needs of the community.

Prithvee Yakhmi

Improve facilities, residents can pay

Rather than giving freebies, the MC should charge nominal rates for water and parking. This will not put a burden on the residents and help the MC generate revenue as well. Residents can pay the charges, but they want a regular and timely supply of water and hassle free parking.

Abhilasha Gupta, Mohali

Don’t burden the exchequer

Providing free water and parking is not a wise step. It will add to the financial burden on the UT Administration.

Parisha Khatri, Chandigarh

Not unfair as poor don’t irrigate lawns

Poor people and small houses should get a special rebate on water tariff as they are not irrigating their huge lawns or washing luxury vehicles. Lower the potable water consumption, lower the tariff should be. For smooth parking facility, manpower is required, which comes at a cost. Hence, it cannot be provide free.

Vijay Shukla, Chandigarh

Freebies are like bribing people

It is not a good practice to offer free facilities and services. This is nothing short of bribe by political parties to people. This will only make residents dependant.

Sukhwant Bhullar, Chandigarh

UT Administrator must review decision

Why not? When crores of people are getting free ration and other things out of taxpayers' money, why can't city residents get a small share of free facilities. The UT Administrator must review the decision in favour of the city residents.

Savita Kuthiala

Accord approval to House resolution

The UT administration should approve the agenda item immediately in public interest. The MC may reduce expenditure on stone-laying and inauguration functions by the Mayor, Governor, etc.

Kirpal Singh, Chandigarh

No need to oppose concession to poor

The UT Administration overruled the politically motivated and populist agenda of freebies. We should not be totally against providing free and concessional service to the poor. The Administration and the MC should have resolved the issue amicably rather than taking unilateral decisions. It is bound to create friction between the MC and the Administration and may lead to litigations in future.

Dr Anil Kumar Yadav, New Chandigarh

Breather for lower, middle classes

Water and parking should be made free of cost as it would actually act as a breather for the lower and middle classes because the hefty amount of taxes being paid bring back no returns to them. Nevertheless, one must not misuse natural resources like water if provided free.

Manseerat Kaur, Chandigarh

Broke MC can’t afford freebies

The UT Administration did the right thing by scrapping the MC proposal to offer free water supply and parking in the city. Political parties have to do massive brainstorming before announcing any such freebies before polls as these would burden the city's exchequer heavily. How could a civic body with empty coffers offer anything for free? Moreover, there is a huge shortage of water. The government should instead work on providing continuous water supply at a nominal cost by optimising water generation at lesser cost and reducing losses by plugging pilferages. This will certainly help in providing relief to consumers in terms of minimum water cost and reducing the amount of their bills. Consumers these days are ready to pay genuinely for any quality service rendered to them.

Sanjay Chopra, Mohali

Administrator's decision laudable

The UT Administrator should be applauded for rejecting the MC's proposal for free water and parking. Such a measure would cost the civic body a whopping Rs 20 crore annually. Freebies are political gimmicks to lure public at the cost of taxpayers' money and such proposals must be trashed. UT residents do not require freebies , 24x7 efficient and assured civic amenities.

SS Arora, Mohali

Make parking in sector markets free

Free water supply will lead to wastage of already-scarce water as it is human psychology to become careless if something is available for free. As far as parking is concerned, it should be a paid facility in Sector 17 where people visit occasionally. It should be free in other sector markets where one has to go frequently for daily needs.

BS Cheema, Mohali

Free water will lead to wastage

The UT Administrator has rejected the resolution on free water and parking passed by the MC House and proposed by the AAP-Congress alliance. These facilities should not be provided to residents free of cost. The people are so careless that they cannot conserve water. Free things would lead to their overuse and wastage.

Adish Sood, Amloh

Remember, water crisis looming

This is beyond the ken of one's understanding that when the whole world is heading towards water crisis, why are we planning to provide water free of cost to those who are well of and able to pay. It would also lead to sheer wastage of the elixir of life because very few wise people will think of using it purposefully. Others will not bother. Funds collected from parking lots should be utilised to manage and build multi-storey facilities.

Surinder Paul Wadhwa, Mohali

Put taxpayers’ money to better use

The MC is entrusted with the responsibility of providing residents an access to civic amenities such as clean drinking water, electricity, sanitation, smooth roads, drains, clean and healthy environment, etc. The proposal to provide free water and parking facilities was not viable. Taxes paid by people should be used judiciously for development, not for providing freebies. The need of the hour is judicious use of natural resources. People who get free facilities without paying taxes will never value them.

Charu Malhotra, Mohali

Reflect on fiscal implications

The Administrator should ask the MC to submit the financial implications and how to recover the cost of freebies. Wasteful expenditure on an undesirable project of providing a 24-hour water supply should be avoided as that too will lead to wastage.

Bharat Bhushan Sharma

Provide it on no profit, no loss basis

Freebies are actually a hindrance in the progress of any society. Rather than giving freebies, the government should provide the amenity on no profit, no loss basis. Besides, the government should impose green tax and tourism tax in the city. The tax so collected can be used for further beautification of the city and renovation and development of new attractions so as to bolster tourism. Bird Park is a case in point.

Avinash Goyal, Chandigarh

Freebies will ruin govt finances

Freebies should not be offered at all as the money spent on the services offered for free can be otherwise used for the welfare of community. If we are provided supplies free of cost, the government will have less money and it may cause fiscal fiasco.

Rudhav Dhingra, Chandigarh


The Municipal Corporation has decided to remove illegal water connections outside ‘lal dora’ in all villages of Chandigarh. What are your views?

Suggestions in not more than 70 words can be sent to [email protected]

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