Councillors fume as mayor visits wards 'secretly'

Opposition members raise din during South Corpn House meeting

 The House meeting of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation witnessed an unusual din on Monday as the opposition councillors targeted mayor Savita Gupta for visiting their wards for inspection without informing them.

 Referring to the mayor’s recent visit to Okhla’s waste-to-energy plant, Congress councillor Indu Verma said the plant is located in her constituency and the mayor should have informed her before the visit. “The mayor along with the commissioner and the standing committee’s chairman visited my constituency last Wednesday, but I was not informed about her visit. She was there for inspection of the power plant in Sukhdev Vihar,” said Verma, councillor from Sriniwaspuri in south Delhi “The residents of the area have been demanding shut  down of the plant as it is hazardous,” she said. 

Indu Verma said one of her staff members informed her that the mayor, along with other top officials was on a visit to the plant. She alleged that the chairman of the standing committee Rajesh Gehlot used unparliamentary words against her during the mayor’s visit. Gehlot, however, denied the charge. Another Congress councillor, Pradeep Sharma from Raghubir Nagar, said the mayor inspected his ward too, without informing him. And despite visiting the place, she failed to improve the condition of Titarpur drain, he said.

Over a dozen other Congress councillors complained about the mayor’s visits to their wards. They included members representing Brijwasan and Titarpur, apart from the leader of opposition Farhad Suri. Suri said the mayor was taking a round of his ward with BJP workers and when he objected, she informed him that she was in the area on an invitation by a BJP worker for a cup of tea.  However, the allegations of the Congress councillors were refuted both by the mayor and the standing committee chairman. “I am well within my rights to conduct inspections. Apart from that, I duly inform the local councillor if I am on an official visit and I would continue to do so,” said Savita Gupta, while replying to opposition charges.

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