Mayor’s tenure nears end: Many new controversies, but no new projects
As the tenure of Mayor Raj Bala Malik draws to an end, the year gone by was a mixed bag. While long pending projects got a push, her tenure was marred by controversies including walk out by civic body officials during a General House meeting and her tumultuous relationship with Congress councillors. The Mayor also failed to initiate any new projects in the city.
Malik had no experience in politics when she was given a ticket by Congress to contest the civic polls from Ward 1, comprising Sectors 1 to 11. Considered an 'elitist ward' where people are reluctant to venture out to cast their vote, Malik — an advocate — defeated BJP candidate Satinder Dhawan by a 500 vote margin.
With most heavy-weight Congress candidates losing the elections and the Mayor's post reserved for a woman, Malik was made the candidate. As nominated councillors voted enmasse for Congress, Malik was made Mayor.
Her tenure this past year witnessed its share of highs and lows. No project was initiated, but old projects — approved or in the pipelines — got a push.
The construction of the overbridge in Sector 17 started this year, though former Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh had initiated it.
Plans for additional storeys to the MC building were approved as was a multilevel parking lot in Sector 17. Its construction has however hit a roadblock with lack of environmental clearance.
A garbage pilot project was started after court directions, but did not succeed following strike by sanitation workers. A large number of committees were constituted, but most failed to yield result.
The Mayor inaugurated a large number of projects that were either renovations or greenbelts and parks that had been completed earlier.
The Mayor's lack of experience made her ineffective in managing the meetings of the General House and she abstained from giving any conclusion to discussions. This resulted in meetings going on for hours without any results.