Chandigarh: It was their day and they grabbed it by the scruff of the neck. Residents bombarded the mayor and city commissioner with civic and public issues that plagued them, strangled development, and diminished the quality of life in the city. And, their list was long.
Mismanagement in the operation of pay and display parking lots, inadequate sanitation, failure to lift rubbish, dumping of dry leaves in manholes, the threat of stray dogs and monkeys, and erratic water supply have were some of the complaints raised during a public interaction with the two Municipal Corporations (MC) top shots organized by the Federation of Welfare Associations of Chandigarh Sectors (Foswac), an umbrella body of about 70 associations of Resident Welfare (RWA), Saturday.

Much of the anger was reserved for the mismanagement of the paid parking system. “Chaos reigns in paid parking lots. Instead of doing people a favour, operators have made parking a vehicle an ordeal,” RWA representatives said. Some of them suggested that the slips be given at the exit points rather than at the entrance, which leads to long queues of vehicles. “Many paid car parks are directly connected to key sector roads, separation roads, markets and residential areas. As vehicles wait to enter lots, major roads are blocked. This not only causes traffic jams, but increases the risk of accidents,” they said.
Door-to-door garbage collection was another topic that people talked about a lot. Residents complained that the waste was not picked up on time. “Vehicles don’t come for three to four days in many areas, which causes a major problem. There is a need to streamline the system,” they said. The Dadumajra dump also appeared.
“It’s an insult to the beautiful city. No amount of effort can improve Chandigarh’s ranking until the landfill is removed,” said Dr. KS Choudary, President of Sector 38 (West) RWA. People living nearby were forced to close their doors and windows due to the foul smell, residents said, adding that those with health conditions were the worst affected.
Poor road conditions were another topic of discussion. Residents said road resurfacing was not up to scratch in a few areas, particularly Manimajra, alleging use of substandard materials. They demanded checks by an independent agency and avoiding patchwork.