Found dumped in Chandigarh MC building basement: ‘Missing’ e-rickshaws, government records

Hina Rohtaki
In the basement of MC building in Sector 17, Chandigarh. (Express photo by Jaipal Singh)

Original government records and new missing e-rickshaws meant to ferry people from multilevel parking lot to the plaza were all found dumped in the basement of Chandigarh Municipal Corporation building, Sector 17, by Chandigarh Newsline.

When the multilevel parking worth Rs 50 crore was inaugurated in Sector 17 in 2016, these e-rickshaws were displayed at the inauguration. After months, these e-rickshaws had gone missing. These were hired and introduced by MC after questions were raised on the location of the multilevel parking lot as visitors and traders stated that it was very far-off from the plaza. It was said that visitors, especially the elderly, would find it difficult to walk upto the plaza. It was then that the civic body decided to have e-rickshaws at the multilevel parking for easy commute of the people.

Chandigarh Newsline found all the four e-rickshaws dumped and gathering dust at the basement. Sources said that the corporation had taken these e-rickshaws from a company.

Not just this, original government records and files were all found stacked in the basement in a messy condition. The situation was such that some of the files were even dripping water that must have dropped from the ceiling.

Few of the documents when checked were found to be original approvals of projects.

Congress councillor Devinder Singh Babla told Chandigarh Newsline one never knows that property tax records which the corporation is unable to find must be stacked here .

This is highly irresponsible on the part of MC. I will go and check myself. This is not the way to stack things which are in good condition, said Babla.

He added, It is such a pathetic thing that these e-rickshaws which were missing were actually dumped here.

Mayor Rajesh Kalia told Chandigarh Newsline, I will get it checked tomorrow itself and will ask the officials to make these e-rickshaws ply in Sector 17 immediately. I will make a check at the basement. Also, I will get these records maintained properly. I will call for an explanation as well. This is not acceptable.

RTI activist R K Garg said, That is the problem with these officers. They themselves do not know what all is available in their office. At the same time, they are not even digitising these records. It is unfortunate that such files are being maintained in this manner.

Newsline had also found new mobile road quality testing machines worth over Rs 30 lakh junked and thrown in a corner of the basement.

These machines were purchased in 2016 to ensure that no substandard material is used wherever new roads are made because the testing of the material is done at the spot itself and results are also out there at the spot. The machines were meant to check the bitumen content, thickness, density, gradation sieve and temperature measurement during the making of new roads. However, they were gathering dust here.