Saturday, January 22, 2011

Dhobi ghat: MC's dream project flops

CHANDIGARH: Launched in 2007, the much-publicized pilot project of "modern dhobi ghat" was started in Sector 15 to facilitate the area residents and a large number of students staying as the paying guests (PGs) but the project was abruptly closed in 2008. This ambitious project of Chandigarh municipal corporation ran into rough weather because of the non-payment of electricity bills. Later on, it was closed and with it ended MC's plan of more such 'dhobi ghats' in other sectors.

Expressing her concern over her dream project's failure, councillor Harjinder Kaur stated that the civic body mayors could not take forward the project the way it should have been expanded. "MC authorities had even decided to go ahead with the modernization and upgradation of three more 'dhobi ghats' at a cost of Rs 105 lakh. But the proposal was shelved after Sector 15-D laundry mart was closed due to a dispute between the washermen and the MC authorities on water and electricity bill payment," she said.

Senior nominated councillor AP Sanwaria said, "This was a fantastic move to start a modern 'dhobi ghat' for the benefit of students and PGs in and around Sector 15. For one-and-half-a-year, it ran smoothly but later troubles starting pouring in. There ensued a difference of opinion between the 'dhobi ghat' society and corporation officials. As it failed to reach an agreement then, the UT electricity department disconnected the supply and the it was closed."

Another nominated councillor MPS Chawla had different take on the issue. "First of all, the municipal corporation should not have run this project on its own. They should have given it to a private sector company and have given them subsidy as well to run this people-friendly project in a smooth manner."

Area councillor and former city mayor Anu Chatrath said, "Earlier, the modern 'dhobi ghat' in Sector 15 was closed due to dispute over electricity bills between the dhobi association members and the corporation officials. But now, it has stared functioning. Another dhobi ghat is coming up in Sector 7."


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