Manish Tewari: City-state governance model participatory, won’t impact Chandigarh's UT status : The Tribune India

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Manish Tewari: City-state governance model participatory, won’t impact Chandigarh's UT status

Says will involve RWAs in decision-making, give legal teeth to Advisory Council

Manish Tewari: City-state governance model participatory, won’t impact Chandigarh's UT status

All India Mahila Congress president Alka Lamba (3L) along with party candidate Manish Tewari and city chief HS Lucky during the ‘Nari Nyay Sammelan’ in Chandigarh on Thursday. Tribune photo: Ravi Kumar



Tribune News Service

Sandeep Rana

Chandigarh, May 23

The Congress candidate for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat, Manish Tewari, has advocated making Chandigarh a city-state without disturbing the status quo of the UT. He has suggested either the UT Administrator’s Advisory Council be made a statutory body or there should be a model wherein resident welfare associations (RWAs) and civil society members have a say in decision-making — a participatory model of governance.

The Congress leader said such a model would also help resolve longstanding issues like conversion of properties from leasehold to freehold, share-wise sale of properties and CHB-related matters.

“Chandigarh is a union territory and will remain so. It is the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana and will stay the same. The concept of a city-state essentially means that there would be holistic participation of RWAs and civil society organisations in the governance of Chandigarh,” he said.

“The problems of Chandigarh stem from the lack of participation of its residents in running its affairs beyond the remit of the Municipal Corporation, given that the city is run by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and its representatives. My objective is to ensure greater and effective participation of the UT residents in managing the affairs, matters, concerns and problems of Chandigarh. A legal architecture to enable this participation is imperative. A city that has participation of grassroots representative bodies of the city in its governance,” he wrote on ‘X’, formerly Twitter.

Tewari’s suggestion has evoked mixed reactions from city residents and activists. While some feel local people should have more powers so that they are not always left at the mercy of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), there are others who said it was not going to happen in the Centre-governed UT.

Advocate Ajay Jagga, who had been a member of the Advisory Council, said, “Regular meetings of the council are not held. Even suggestions given by the members are not considered. So it is important to make it powerful.”

RK Garg, president, Second Innings Association, a body of senior citizens, added, “It is a very good suggestion. It must be implemented as city’s governance model definitely needs a change.” Dr NK Virmani, president, Sector 48 Modern RWA, added, “The Advisory Council can give advice, but the ultimate authority is the Centre. Even if it approves something, where will the fund come from? It is the Centre, which will decide on it. It is just a stunt before the poll.”

Answer to long-standing issues

Such a model will also help resolve long-standing issues like conversion of properties from leasehold to freehold, share-wise sale of properties and CHB-related matters. — Manish Tewari, Congress nominee

Suggestion evokes mixed reactions

We feel resident welfare associations know their respective areas better so they should also have a say in decision-making to not only enable public participation, but also to resolve issues. — Hitesh Puri, chairman, CRAWFED

It is a political gimmick. Chandigarh is a UT and administered by the Centre. How can different UTs have different set of rules. Only better coordination between the UT and Centre is needed. — Sammer Chaku, member, Sector 63 RWA

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