|Ranchi mayor Asha Lakra
Ranchi’s councillors are anything but prompt planners.
During an RMC board meeting on July 10, it was decided that all ward bosses would submit beautification plans to the mayor’s office within 10 days. Eleven days have lapsed since the July 20 deadline and only 15 out of the 55 councillors have tabled their plans, which again are sketchy.
“No one submitted papers before July 20. While five councillors mooted their plans on Monday, 10 others did the same on Wednesday. Also, all they have demanded are nali (drains) and sadak (roads), which come under sanitation and infrastructure development, not beautification,” said a civic official.
Confronted with questions of disinterest, the councillors fumbled for answers.
Ward No. 24’s Saba Naaz said that Ramazan had kept her busy. “Ek mahina to mohalla saaf karwane mein chala gaya. Ab wichar-wimarsh kar plan banayenge (I was busy keeping colonies clean during the holy month. Now, we will debate and discuss to prepare the plan),” she said.
Councillor of Ward No. 3 Basanti Lakra too had her excuse. “I was not present at the board meeting because I was out of station for my husband’s treatment,” she claimed.
Sandhya Rani Guha of Ward No. 13 said she had submitted her proposals. “We do not have scope to do much. We need drains and roads. I have mentioned the same in my plan.”
According to councillor of Ward No. 30 Om Prakash, the beautification plan deadline was issued in anticipation of the Assembly elections being announced by the end of this month. “Now, the same may take another fortnight. So, we are taking a little time to plan.”
Mayor Asha Lakra, who was expected to streamline some pending projects, too is taking it easy it seems.
The low-floor city bus project, for which the tender has been finalised, has started gathering dust. Similarly, the RMC’s ambitious plan to come up with a branch of Apollo Hospitals in Ghaghra is in limbo because the madam mayor wants to review the agreement. Apollo officials, who were in town last week to seal the deal, had to return empty-handed. “I am new and I must know everything properly before I say yes,” Lakra defended the delays.