• The general house of the Municipal Corporation Chandigarh deferred a decision on fixing charges for segregated door to door garbage collection, which is going to be made mandatory in the near future.

When the agenda, the last on the list for the day, came up for discussion the house display unanimity in describing the charges suggested as on the higher side. It was decided that Mayor Asha Jaswal will form an empowered committee comprising councillors and senior officers of the municipal corporation to get a feedback from the public regarding the existing rates being charged in various sectors by individual garbage collectors and suggest suitable charges for different categories of residential and commercial buildings.

The committee will be given just a week to come back with its recommendations.

Photo By: Life in Chandigarh

The charges proposed in the agenda were Rs 50 per month for Type 12 & 13 government houses, Rs 100 per month for Type 9 to 11 government houses and less than seven marla private houses (for each household), Rs 125 per household per month for 7 to less than 10 marla houses, Rs 150 for 10 marla houses and Rs 200 per month for above 10 marla houses.

For commercial establishments, the proposed rates were Rs 50 per month for booths (for juice shops, pan shops, chatt shops and sweet shops, etc it was Rs 100). Big hotels and cinemas were proposed to be charged Rs 2,000 per establishment per month.

During discussion on another agenda, the house was informed that an agency (Gurugram-based GIS Consortium (India) Pvt. Ltd.) had already been hired to conduct a comprehensive survey of all residential, commercial and industrial buildings and develop a user friendly app which will provide all kind of information about individual properties, the amount of property tax applicable, pendency of the tax, etc. It will also give facility of online payment to owners of properties. Details of properties once compiled will be shared with property owners for reconciliation and complaints, if any, will be resolved. The app is likely to be operational within six months.

GIS Consortium (India) Pvt. Ltd., according to its website, is an emerging geographic information systems (GIS) services and spatial data provider for creative solutions in the areas of natural resources management, land information systems, urban development & planning and GIS applications.

Chandigarh member of Parliament Kirron Kher, who attended the first half meeting of the house, while replying to concerns expressed by some councillors over the Dadumajra garbage dumping site making life miserable for 50,000 odd population in its vicinity, assured that she will forcefully take up with the UT administration allotment of an alternative site at a distant place so that the dump could be shifted there.

Councillor Davesh Moudgil called for urgently deploying a file tracking system to fix responsibility on officials for delays in clearances. To this Commissioner B. Purushartha replied that the process had already been initiated in this regard.

Intervening during another discussion, one of the nominated councillors, Maj Gen (retd) MS Kandal suggested that the engineering department of the municipal corporation adopt standard operating systems to mitigate the hardships faced by residents because of unsatisfactory services. He also exhorted councillors not to waste the time of the house by raising individual issues, which they could take up directly with officials or the Mayor. The time of the house should be devoted to raising and discussing issues related to large sections of the people, he added.

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