Chandigarh: User charges for waste collection slashed, House calls for fresh tenders for sweeping

Congress councillor Devinder Singh Babla said, "They were putting a financial burden on people but after we argued, the rates were reduced."

THE GENERAL House of Chandigarh Municipal Corporation on Monday slashed the user charges for waste collection proposed in the agenda to nominal rates. It also decided not to extend the contract of the Lions company for mechanised sweeping, and sought fresh tenders.

The user fee rates decided are:

  • Rs 50 per kitchen per month for houses upto 50 square yards that is upto 2 marla, and for over 2 marla to 10 marla, per kitchen charges would be Rs 100 per month. For houses above 10 marla upto 1 kanal, Rs 200 would be charged. For houses from 1 kanal to 2 kanal, Rs 250 fee has been fixed while above 2 kanal, Rs 350 has been proposed per kitchen.
  • The provision of user charges in villages also has been fixed: For houses upto 5 marla, a user fee of Rs 50 has been fixed; for upto 1 kanal, a user fee of Rs 100 has been fixed; for above 1 kanal, it will be Rs 200; for a single house where several rooms are made, Rs 30 will be charged per kitchen.
  • From a street vendor, Rs 100 has been proposed while from commercial establishment-dhabas, sweet shops or coffee house, a user fee of Rs 500 has been proposed. For SCO/SCF in general trade too, Rs 500 has been fixed.
  • Dharamshalas, guest houses, bhawans and restaurants upto seating capacity of 50 people, Rs 2,000 has been proposed.
  • For restaurants upto three stars and those with seating capacity of more than 50 people, a user fee of Rs 3,000 monthly was proposed.
  • Commercial offices, government offices, banks, clinic dispensary upto 50 beds are proposed to be charged Rs 2,000, and Rs 4000 from clubs, halls, multiplexes.
  • Mayor Ravi Kant Sharma told The Indian Express: “Previous rates were according to square meters and Chandigarh has house measurements in square yards so the staff would mix up the calculations. In the agenda proposed, rates were slightly on higher side and now they have been slashed.”

Congress councillor Devinder Singh Babla said, “They were putting a financial burden on people but after we argued, the rates were reduced.”

Tender for mechanised sweeping

A war of words was witnessed when mechanised sweeping was discussed as Lions had asked for an extension of contract. Though some BJP councillors were in favour of extending the contract, few including those from Congress said new firms should be given an opportunity.

Lions was taking Rs 4.5 crore a month for mechanized sweeping in the southern belt. “If we float new tender, a company with latest technology could come in at Rs 3 crore also,” Babla said.

A committee of the civic body had recommended that the contract of M/S Lions — which was seeking three more years — may not be extended.

The chief accounts officer submitted that the present contract was signed in 2016, and at that time only two firms participated and the contract was allotted to M/s Lion Services Limited. Since then, numerous other firms have come in the market.

The law officer submitted that the terms and conditions regarding payment of emoluments admissible to the employees of M/s Lion Services Ltd. need to be reviewed as per latest labour laws.

The committee unanimously resolved that the contract be allotted afresh.

Relief for vendors

The House also decided to set up a committee to give some relief to vendors during the pandemic. The committee, comprising councillors and officers, would assess waiving the charges of vendors for May and other relief to be given to city residents.

Water tariff

A few days ago, the UT Administrator had put on hold hiked water rates till March 31, 2022, and stated that the previous water rates will be in force till then.

Councillors demanded that the previous hiked rates which people paid be adjusted in the new bills. However, the civic commissioner did not agree, saying that there is no mention of adjustment of previous paid bills in the new ones. It was also resolved that sewer cess be reduced from 30 to 5 per cent.

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