Tribune News Service
Ludhiana, November 20
Even though the Municipal Corporation (MC) is facing fund crunch and planning to take a new loan of Rs 100 crore for development works, it is yet to recover crores of rupees from many colonies, including posh areas, located outside the MC’s jurisdiction for using the civic body’s sewer line.
Sources said if this amount was collected, a number of pending development works could be carried out in the city. The connections of a number of GLADA-approved colonies and illegal colonies were linked with the MC’s sewer line in the past, but the MC was yet to ensure recovery in this regard. The civic body had also sent a notice to GLADA to pay around Rs 31 crore for connecting its sewer line with the MC’s sewer lane on Pakhowal Road, but this amount was yet to be recovered, the sources said.
Questions are also being raised as to how the sewer connections of the illegal colonies had been connected with the MC’s sewer line without paying a penny to the civic body. Around two years ago, the MC had also started preparing a list of such colonies, but no action was taken.
An RTI activist, Baljeet Singh, said, “There are a large numbers of illegal colonies inside and outside the MC’s jurisdiction. It should be probed where the sewer water of these illegal colonies was released. If the connections of these colonies have been joined with the MC’s sewer line, required action should be taken. The role of the officials concerned and elected representatives should also be probed. Moreover, the monthly sewerage facility charges should also be collected from the colonies located outside the MC’s jurisdiction as charges are being collected from consumers in the areas under the MC limit.”
Leader of opposition in the MC House, Harbhajan Singh Dang, said if the civic body ensured recovery from GLADA and other colonies outside the civic body’s jurisdiction for using the sewer lane, hundreds of crores could be collected. He said, “If recovery is ensured in the right manner, there is not even need of any loan for development works. The recovered amount should be used for development of the city.”
At the recent house meeting, an Akali councillor had also raised the matter about recovery from the various illegal colonies for using the MC’s sewer line. MC Commissioner Pardeep Kumar Sabharwal had then also ordered officials to take the required action in this regard.
MC Superintending Engineer Rajinder Singh said they were making a list of the colonies that were using the sewer line but not paying charges.
According to the sources, the civic body is yet to recover over Rs 200 crore from the defaulters who have not paid their water supply and sewer charges in the areas under the MC’s jurisdiction. Harbhajan Singh Dang said, “We also appeal to the people in the city to pay their water and sewer charges and property tax to the MC on time so that the collected amount could be used for the development of the city.”
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