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Friday, June 14, 2019

Local Bodies performance now under legislators’ lens


Local Bodies performance now under legislators’ lens

Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, June 13

Days after the charge of the Local Bodies Department was taken from Navjot Singh Sidhu, his successor Brahm Mohindra has made the departmental officers accountable to the party legislators as far solving their respective problems were concerned.

“Performance of the officers would be judged on the basis of feedback from the MLAs,” Mohindra told The Tribune.

In the aftermath of Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh pointing out party’s poor performance in urban areas due to lack of development, a fact contradicted by Sidhu, the minister today began the exercise to bridge the gap between the officialdom and the lawmakers by organising first meeting of Jalandhar MLAs Sushil Kumar Rinku, Pargat Singh, Rajinder Beri, Surinder Singh and Avtar Singh Junior, besides Jalandhar MP Chaudhary Santokh Singh. Similar meetings have been scheduled for Amritsar, Ludhiana, Patiala and Bathinda in the coming days.

Emphasis is being laid on political deliverance of development works through the respective legislator, a fact that was widely missing in the feedback given by MLAs to the Chief Minister from time to time.

On the basis of the feedback from the MLAs on the pendency of online building plans, the departmental officials have been asked to provide status report on the ‘e-naksha’ online building plan approval system (OBPS), launched by the department last year. The report has been sought on the total applications received, approved, pending and the reasons for keeping the plans pending.

It has been pointed out that in small urban local bodies, fee of the certified architects was pinching small plot holders and clearance of the large plans, especially commercial, was taking time at the state headquarters office.

Recently, the previous minister has pointed that under the OBPS, nearly 4,000 plans have been sanctioned on the e-naksha portal till date with more than 8,800 files having been uploaded. The OBPS caters to the 165 urban local bodies as well as the 27 Improvement Trusts.

Besides, on the pattern of one-time settlement scheme (OTS) for illegal colonies, an OTS for illegal commercial buildings in the municipal areas has also been sought.

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