In a meeting of the Finance and Contract Committee held in October, changes in the rules and regulations of community centres was introduced. In a meeting held this month, however, the rules were altered again during the confirmation of minutes of the previous meeting. The move has been questioned by some members of the committee.
High on the contentious list is the changes that have been introduced, is the decision to strip councillors of the power of being able to nominate any member to the executive committee of the community centre in their area.
During the meeting in October, it was decided that councillors would be allowed to nominate a member to the executive committee that manages the community centres. However, in the meeting held recently, it was decided that the area councillor would not have this power. Congress councillors as well as Mayor Raj Bala Malik decided against giving the area councillors this power. It was decided that the Municipal Commissioner should nominate three members to the committee.
The decision does not seem to have gone down too well. SAD councillor Harjinder Kaur says: “Decisions taken in one meeting were changed in the other without much thought been given to these. Rules should be formulated after due consideration is given.”
Similar views were expressed by BJP councillor Rajesh Gupta who said that the councillor should be allowed to nominate one member to the executive committee. “We had proposed that the area councillor should have the right to nominate one member to the executive committee. This was agreed to earlier. However, later the rule was changed,” he added.
Among other changes it was decided that the charges for booking an air-conditioned community centre would be Rs 10,000. Membership fee charged would be Rs 1000 for a year. For the senior citizens the membership fee would be Rs 500. Only the residents of a particular sector can become members of a community centre in that area and this will be possible only after the councillor verifies the same.
A member of the committee, Pardeep Chhabra, however says that the changes in the rules have been introduced to ensure smooth functioning of the community centres. “In the community centres that are now being constructed, facilities like gymnasiums are being provided. These need to be put to adequate use.”
The Municipal Corporation had during its last tenure proposed by-laws for the community centre that were prepared by former nominated councillor Brig K S Chandpuri (retd). While the councillors opposed these as they were not given adequate representation, the Local Bodies department had rejected them stating that community centres could have rules and regulations and not by-laws.