Chandigarh, November 25
The BJP, Congress and AAP councillors, who are often at loggerheads during MC House meetings, today joined forces over overhead cables put up illegally by different companies in the city.
During a Finance and Contracts Committee (F&CC) meeting here, the councillors as well as Mayor unanimously resolved to halt the ongoing exercise of removing overhead cables/wires for the next eight months.
Give firms eight months to pay fee
- Councillors say erring firms should be given eight months to deposit fee for laying underground cables, failing which action should resume
- MC says firms were given three months to remove illegal cables, but they failed to do so. It was causing ‘major loss’ to corporation
- Even if the firms were given an extension, there is no guarantee they will pay fee and lay underground cables, MC officials maintain
The councillors said the firms should be allowed to deposit fee for laying underground cables by eight months, failing which action should resume. However, MC Commissioner Anindita Mitra said they were not bound by the F&CC resolution and that action on illegal overhead cables would continue.
BJP councillor Saurabh Joshi told Chandigarh Tribune they were getting complaints from residents of the MC exercise affecting those working from home as well as students. Congress councillor Gurbax Rawat and AAP’s Taruna Mehta said people were being “harassed” due to the MC drive as many had lost their Internet or cable TV connection. The stance of the rival parties is being seen as an attempt to “favour” violators.
Internet down, studies affected
We have been getting plaints of residents losing Net or cable TV. Exercise is affecting those working from home as well as students. — Saurabh Joshi, BJP councillor
It’s illegal, drive to continue
I am not bound by F&CC resolution. How can illegal practice be supported? The action against illegal overhead cables and wires will continue. — Anindita Mitra, MC chief
The MC chief, who could not attend the meeting due to fever, told Chandigarh Tribune: “I am not bound by F&CC’s resolution. How can illegal practice be supported? The action against illegal overhead cables and wires will continue.”
The MC said they had already given three months to the firms to remove illegal cables, but they had failed to do so. It would amount to “major losses”, running into crores of rupees, to the cash-strapped corporation.
“What is the guarantee that after being given another deadline, they will do the needful. This cycle will never end. They must operate legally by obtaining permission and then lay underground cables,” said a senior MC officer.
After a series of reports in these columns highlighting the problem of overhanging cables/wires, the MC had started removing these in different parts of the city from November 1. The action started after a three-month deadline got over.
After the civic body started removing cables, many firms came forward to pay the fee and lay underground cables. MC officials said if they were again given a breather, they would not submit fee or lay underground cable.
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