JMC Mayor adjourns General House Meeting as Councilors protest over corruption in ULB

JMC Councilors during protest against corruption in General House Meeting of JMC on Friday.
JMC Councilors during protest against corruption in General House Meeting of JMC on Friday.

Sanjeev K. Sharma
Jammu, Sept 6: Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) Mayor, Chander Mohan Gupta here today adjourned the sixth General House Meeting after the Councilors trooped Well of the House protesting against alleged corruption in the urban local body (ULB).
It was BJP Councilor, Pawan Singh speaking in the House wherein he asked why the Rs. 45 crore was not distributed among the Councilors while JMC had received the amount for development purposes eight months back.
He said that on an average each of the 75 Councilors were supposed to gets Rs. 60 lakh from that amount to develop their Wards.
“You say scarcity of staff to make estimates and same scarcity excuse is used by your engineering wing which claims only 22-25 engineers with it and same is the case of sanitation wing which too say they have a small workforce,” he further said.
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Singh also said: “Similar is the strength of JMC Enforcement Wing which reaches in no time to demolish even small structure raised by some poor person for shelter in the city while there are big malls too which are never touched.”
He said that there should be friendly and easy procedure of building permissions under Building Operation Controlling Authority (BOCA).
“After demolishing structures by some poor the Enforcement Wing shares their contract numbers with the victim telling them to meet them after which bargaining is done,” he claimed adding that the Enforcement Wing claims support of Mayor and JMC Commissioner in illegal grafts activities.
“Bring your Enforcement Wing staff here and I will tell you who took how much money. I made them to return money they took from the poor people and they (Enforcement Wing) had pledged not to repeat the wrong doing again,” Pawan Singh further said.
He also said that rates are fixed for buildings and other works in JMC.
This prompted objection by JMC Commissioner, Pankaj Magotra who asked Singh to name those who quoted his name for corruption.
Mayor too intervened and this was followed by noisy scenes where many Councilors like Gorav Chopra, Amit Gupta etc too joined and trooped the Well after which the House was adjourned by the Mayor.
Earlier as soon as the House had started its business, Congress Councilor, Dwarka Chowdhary raised the issue of poor working of JMC with no proper Safai Karamcharis, no adequate number of vehicles for lifting garbage, non-functional street lights etc.
“We pass resolutions here but no work is done on ground,” he said claiming that his Ward even awaits installation of bulbs in street lights.
Chowdhary also said that JMC was to get Rs 127 crore for development works but those at the helm even failed to inform the Councilors about Rs 45 crore which has been received by the local body.
“Corruption is prevalent in JMC and the Enforcement Wing acts selectively,” he maintained adding that due to the poor performance of those at the helm in JMC, the Councilors have to face public wrath.
After this BJP Councilor, Rajinder Sharma raised the issue of prevalent old approved rate schedule for building materials for development works in the city.
Demanding out of box solution he said that apart from this the e-tendering allows rates which are 40 per cent below the market rates.
He also said that apart from all this the officers at JMC take commissions from contractors to grant works.
Intervening into this Commissioner JMC said, few days back he had a meeting with contractors wherein he demanded names of officers who ask for commissions.
The Commissioner further said that the contractors should visit him directly and no commission will be taken from them for allotting works on merits.
Over this Rajinder Sharma said that contractors cannot name the officers taking commissions as they fear that may invite rejection of their tenders on pretext of some technical lacuna.
When contacted the Mayor said some independent, Congress and a BJP Councilors have become habitual of disturbing the meetings of JMC over baseless issues. He named Independent Councilor Amit Gupta of Ward number 19, Jagdish Kumar of Ward no 2, Congress’s Gourav Chopra of Ward 28, Pawan Singh of BJP in this regard.
“These Councilors have one point agenda that they will not let the House to function. See only one meeting of Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) has been held so far and that too was marred by hurling of mikes on one another,” the Mayor said adding that SMC has not even formed House Committees there while the same are functioning properly in JMC.
He refuted the charges of corruption and commission and said if any Councilor has any proof of that they may come to him and he will take a strict action.
“I issued 3-4 warnings to the protesting members today but as they did not stopped their protest I adjourned the house,” he said.