In run-up to LS polls, Cong makes promises; Oppn calls them hollow

From exploring the possibility of providing houses to tenants in the city, making promises for regularisation of construction outside the lal dora of villages and announcing new policies for vendors, the Congress, with the impending Lok Sabha elections in mind, appears to be on a sop-offering, credit-claiming spree. The other political parties in the city are crying foul, stating that "hollow promises" are being made by the Congress.

The Congress party has won the last three Lok Sabha elections from the city with Pawan Kumar Bansal being the city's MP for 15 consecutive years. With the elections approaching in the coming months, the Congress leaders are busy making a variety of promises. Many of the issues being looked into have been lingering on for a while.

The residents living in houses constructed by Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) have been protesting for fulfilment of their demands for the past few years. Among their main demands is regularising need-based changes. A few days back, Bansal, along with several officials including the CHB chairman, UT finance secretary and the chief architect, visited the houses to assess the situation. A probability is being explored for bringing out a general housing scheme so that houses are built for city residents living as tenants for more than a decade.

The residents of the villages are being assured that the construction outside the lal dora would be regularised. Over the years, the problem has escalated to such an extent that almost 60 per cent construction in the villages is now outside the lal dora.

Recently, the municipal corporation approved by-laws for regulation of rickshaw pullers and opening of registration for vendors. A day before the by-laws were to be taken to the House, in an unprecedented move these were announced formally by the Mayor and Congress councillors in the presence of Bansal.

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