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Reopen 2 parking lots: 7 BJP councillors to Chandigarh Mayor

Traders down shutters from 9 am to 1 pm, more protests planned today

Traders sitting outside after they closed their shops during their protest in sector 17 Chandigarh on Wednesday May 11 2016. Express photo by Sahil Walia Traders sitting outside after they closed their shops during their protest in sector 17 Chandigarh on Wednesday May 11 2016. Express photo by Sahil Walia

SEVEN BJP councillors are at odds with their own Mayor Arun Sood, demanding rollback of the decision to close two parking lots in Sector 17 — Sahib Singh and Empire Store —after inauguration of a multilevel parking facility.

Seven BJP councillors – deputy mayor Davesh Moudgil, Saurabh Joshi, Sat Parkash Aggarwal, Satinder Singh, Heera Negi, Des Raj Gupta and Rajkumar Gupta – and one SAD councillor, Hardeep Singh, submitted a memorandum to the municipal commissioner demanding that both the parking lots be reopened. They also demanded that the decision taken in the finance and contract committee (F&CC) to close both the parking lots should be discussed in the house meeting scheduled to be held in the last week of this month.

“We have requested the commissioner to bring the decision of F&CC in the house so that the issue can be discussed and an appropriate decision can be taken. For now, both the parking lots should be reopened,” said Saurabh Joshi.

Dhawan slams Tandon, Sood

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Senior BJP leader Harmohan Dhawan alleged that BJP city unit chief Sanjay Tandon and Arun Sood had ‘forced’ the closure of both the parking lots and claimed that it was not the party’s decision.

Terming the move as “impractical and anti-trader,” Dhawan said, “There are allegations that it was BJP’s decision, which are false,” said Dhawan. He added that no one in the party was kept in the loop.

Dhawan claimed that Tandon and Sood had a meeting with the traders in which they had promised not to close the parking lots. He alleged that Sood brought in an agenda to close the parking lots in the previous finance and contract committee meeting. He also alleged that Sood ‘deliberately adjourned’ the previous house meeting so that the issue could not be discussed.

Tandon, Sood refute claims

Both Tandon and Sood rubbished the allegations, saying it was the decision of the Chandigarh administration and municipal corporation to close the parking lots.

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Tandon said Dhawan had developed a ‘bad habit’ of blaming him for everything. “We are with the traders, but they are being misled,” said Tandon. Sood refused to comment on allegations levelled by Dhawan but said that they would not do anything that is against the traders. “We never said this is the final decision. It can be reviewed,” said Sood.

Be patient: Kher to traders

Reacting to the the issue, MP Kirron Kher said, “There is a misunderstanding. The issue is not that the parking lots are permanently closed. At present, the parking lots get clogged. If additional parking facility is made, we should try it. If traders feel they are in for losses, we will open the parking lots again. Those working in offices and traders should park in the multilevel parking lot.”

She added, “I feel traders should wait. Every time, there are protests when something new comes. Then things settle down. Meetings have been held. I want to tell traders: Do not worry.”

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On the protest by Dhawan, Kher said that Dhawan is an independent-minded person. When he feels things are right or wrong he talks about it.

Traders stage protest

Holding Sood responsible for the issue, traders demanded his resignation Wednesday. Traders gathered outside MC office in Sector 17 and staged a protest. They closed their shops from 9 am to 1 pm. The protest disrupted traffic flow. The traders have threatened to continue with the protest by observing ‘bandh and complete blackout’ from 7pm to 9 pm Thursday. They will also take out a candlelight procession at the Plaza.

More e-rickshaws purchased

For the convenience of those visiting Sector 17, the corporation has purchased four more e-rickshaw, taking their number to eight. Mayor said more e-rickshaws would be purchased for ferrying visitors.

 

First published on: 12-05-2016 at 04:27 IST
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