Special Correspondent

Chandigarh Administrator addresses Advisory Council meeting

Emphasis on development of ChandigarhNeed for providing equal opportunities to the disadvantaged underlined

CHANDIGARH: The Chandigarh Administrator's Advisory Council on Monday unanimously resolved to "put India first" with emphasis on Chandigarh, development of "our potential'' and broadening and deepening the scope of public-private partnership in building social and physical infrastructure to improve the quality of life.

Presiding over the Council meeting, the Punjab Governor and Administrator of the Union Territory of Chandigarh, S.F. Rodrigues, emphasised that the citizens should ensure the vision of a new India guides their actions. He also congratulated the new Mayor and his team.

Describing Chandigarh as a revenue-surplus Union Territory which has one of the highest -- if not the highest - per capita incomes in the country, he said that the Chandigarh Administration wanted to enrich the lives of all citizens by sustaining growth and provision of public goods, while at the same time ensuring that the benefits of growth were equitably available to all sectors of the society. "The ambition is to provide a quality of public services and quality of life comparable to cities in developed economies in the next twenty years''.

Gen Rodrigues said that the proposed excise policy for 2006-2007, which envisages substantial changes in the existing policy on the lines of the suggestions of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, has already been circulated for public debate.

Expressing concern at the need for providing equal opportunities to the disadvantaged sections of society, he asked the Panjab University Vice-Chancellor, K.N. Pathak, who also heads the sub-group on Education, to make a comprehensive analysis on this subject and help to identify the potential among these vulnerable sections to evolve suitable strategies to make them equal beneficiaries.

Sharing his concern with the members of the Advisory Council who were unanimous regarding removal of encroachments and checking the growth of unauthorised slums, General Rodrigues made it clear that he was always considerate and sympathetic to the hardships of the common man but there were set rules, byelaws and Court judgments for regulating encroachments which had to be followed by the Administration.

The Administrator asked his Adviser, Lalit Sharma, to constitute a sub-group to suggest some solution to the problem of roadside workers.