Shimla, June 7: CPM’s five-year term at the Shimla Municipal Corporation (SMC) under Mayor Sanjay Chauhan and Deputy Mayor Tikender Panwar has come to an end. City’s roads and streets look better, but traffic woes and parking on roadsides remain the same. The city still cries for water. Its shanties and suburbs stink. The CPM duo say they ran a hostile house. The 12 BJP and 11 Congress councillors never allowed them to form ward sabhas for a corruption-free governance. Kuldeep Chauhan interviewed them.
Here are some excerpts:
List your achievements? Did you live up to the expectations of people and fulfil all promises?
We admit our performance was just 40 per cent of what we wanted to do. But the BJP and the Congress could not level a single charge of corruption. We ended blame game over jaundice outbreak of 2007 and the subsequent years and created a single water and sewerage authority with the MC. Every drop is being monitored and there was no outbreak this year.
What do you have to say on water crisis, sewerage and waste management?
We stopped privatisation of water. We plugged 60 to 80 per cent leakages from 20 million liters per day (MLD) Giri and Gumma schemes and are supplying 40 MLD daily on an alternative day or the third day despite banning 10 MLD from Ashwani Khud due to jaundice outbreak. The IPH banned all baolis and schemes in the city. We still need 45 MLD water. The 102 MLD Rs 1,200-crore Kol Dam project is about to start, which will give 24X7 water supply to the city. We have in place a door-to-door waste collection system of 500 SEHB workers and periphery and many new areas need sewerage coverage.
Your comments on MC’s financial condition and parking woes in the city?
We inherited an empty treasury in 2012. There was no money to pay salaries of its 1,200 employees. Today, the MC has a budget of Rs 400 crore. We fought for smart city. We submitted Rs 3,000 crore Smart City plan to the Centre. Work on parking projects for over 4,000 vehicles is going on. Unique Kanglog landfill site park is in progress.
Your take on MC elections?
Mayor: The CPM will present a good show. We wanted direct elections to test our popularity. I will contest the Shimla state Assembly seat.
Deputy Mayor: I will not contest the MC election as I will be taking up party’s assignment in Delhi.
Source: Tribune India