‘Need to ensure new House does not repeat mistakes’
With a new House in place, Patiala hopes for a new beginning. Its first citizen now is Sanjeev Sharma Bittu, a protégé of CM Capt Amarinder Singh and his wife and former Union minister Preneet Kaur. Excerpts from an interview:
What will be your top priorities?
My focus will be to streamline sewerage and drainage. Besides that, the dairy shifting project has already been taken up with the government and glitches related to it will be cleared soon. Issues include of encroachment, irregular water supply and stray animals.
What are the major challenges?
We need to ensure that the new House doesn’t repeat mistakes committed by the predecessors. Despite ruling the state for 10 years, the SAD-BJP government has not given a single penny for development of the city. We have already listed out development work worth ₹100 crore and projects worth ₹50 crore will be announced in the coming week.
What about a fiscal revival?
That is a huge task, for which government-level talks have been initiated. I have gone through the record and found that we are managing to meet our committed expenditures. My main focus will remain to come up with income-generation sources. Officials have been asked to streamline tax collection.
How will you ensure efficiency?
The coordination between elected representatives and administrative staff will be ensured. Senior officials have already been directed to come out of working style during the SADBJP tenure. Officials concerned will be held responsible if any lapse comes to the fore in disseminating services. The civic bpdy must, on priority, ensure regular water supply, besides cleaning of lanes and drains on a regular basis in the interior parts of the city so as to avoid the problem of waterlogging, particularly during the rainy season every year. Seema, 42, housewife