Chorus grows for change in system of governance
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The city is witnessing a growing clamour for a different system of governance over the past few weeks. Whether it is the elected representatives or members of the resident welfare associations, all have raised a demand for either the revival of the post of Chief Commissioner, having a Legislative Assembly in the city or the system of Mayor-in-Council. The demands show dissatisfaction with the current system of governance.
At present, the city is headed by the UT Administrator who also holds the office of the Punjab Governor. The Adviser to the Administration heads the bureaucracy and the functions are divided between the administration and the Municipal Corporation. However, during visits by Union Minister P Chidambaram and, more recently, by a Parliamentary Standing Committee, demands were raised for changing the system of governance.
In fact, the political parties are divided over the system that is more suited for the city. While the Congress is rooting for the revival of the post of Chief Commissioner, the BJP is in favour of having a Legislative Assembly to give representation to people. The Chief Commissioner was heading the city till May 1984. With Punjab going through a phase of terrorism, it was felt that if the Punjab Governor was also made the UT Administrator, it would lead to better co-ordination. The system continues even today when peace has returned in the state.
The developments in the city in the last few years have, however, led to people raising their voice against the prevalent system. The tussle between Union Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal and former Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Gen (retd) S F Rodrigues witnessed accusations being made against each other. Most of the projects that were proposed for the city were struck down or embroiled in controversies. In the past five years, apart from construction of new gardens, no major project has started.
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