Taking serious note of alleged irregularities committed by park development societies, Panchkula Municipal Commissioner Lalit Siwach has stopped their payments. The municipal commissioner has also directed the engineering wing to carry out measurement of all the parks to check if any society is claiming payments in excess of total area of the park. The commissioner acted after receiving a complaint from city resident B L Tandon, who is convenor of PVGV Group.
Watch What Else Is Making News
There are around 225 parks in Panchkula city, of which 180 are maintained by the civic body through the park development committees while the remaining parks are maintained by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA). The parks within the jurisdiction of MC are located in sectors 2, 4, 6 to 19, Mansa Devi Complex and Industrial area Phase-1 & Phase-2. MC pays Rs 3 per square metre for the maintenance of parks while HUDA is paying only Rs 1.50 per square metre for upkeep of its parks.
Tandon, in his complaint submitted to the municipal commissioner and mayor, accused park development societies of submitting forged agreements and bogus bills for taking payment from the corporation. To substantiate his allegations, Tandon attached a copy of allegedly forged agreement submitted by one of the park development societies in Sector 7 to claim payments for the maintenance of a park on a contract basis. Tandon said that the agreement was prepared for the back period of six months from August 13 to January 14 and was got attested from a notary on July 14. “Similarly, forged agreements have been prepared by other societies as well,” he alleged.
Expressing ignorance about alleged forged agreement submitted to the corporation, Chander Bhan Goel, councillor of Sector 7, said that for the past one-and-a half year park development societies in his ward had not been getting the bills signed by him. “I am not aware if any society submitted forged or backdated agreement. The authorities should look into the matter and take appropriate action,” said Goel.
Talking to Chandigarh Newsline, Siwach confirmed that payments of all the parks had been stopped till the engineering wing submitted its report. “We are also measuring all the parks to check if any society is claiming payments for area more than total size of the park,” he said.
Mayor Upinder Kaur said that the engineering wing should submit its report at the earliest so that non-payment did not affect maintenance of the parks. “It’s a serious matter and needs to be investigated. However, the officials need to act swiftly as delay will hamper maintenance of parks,” she said.