Though there may be a considerable difference in the accessibility to basic services like housing, water supply, electricity and road infrastructure between the northern and southern sectors of Chandigarh, the two parts at least appear to be on an equal footing on the issue of cleanliness.
A visit to the northern parts of the City Beautiful reveals that Sectors 1-4 and 7-11, which house fewer persons when compared to the southern sectors, are not spick and span as they are made out to be. Though the palatial houses in the city’s posh sectors are spotless, the roads leading to these houses contain heaps of horticulture waste.
The filth is piled up either on the pavements or on empty plots. The horticulture waste includes tree branches and leaves. Green belts in the northern sectors are not well kept. However, the green belts in Sectors 1 and 2 are well maintained when compared to other northern sectors. So, if one factors in the footfalls in the southern sector, one can conclude that the northern sectors are no better than the southern sectors in the maintenance of public spaces. The only noticeable difference is that the northern sectors are full of horticulture waste while the southern sectors contain heaps of other filth and construction debris.
Sectors 3 and 4
This elite locality gives an impression of being the best-kept area in the City Beautiful. But a visit to the inner lanes of these sectors show that they are not cared for by the civic body or the residents.
Both sectors are dotted with heaps of horticulture waste. In Sector 3, a cemented structure has been constructed outside many houses to collect the waste. But the garbage can be seen spilling out of the cemented structures and on to the road. Even otherwise, sweepers tend to push the garbage to both sides of the road.
Sector 4 did not present a pleasant sight either. The pavement right opposite the MLA hostel in Sector 4 contained filth, even though a corporation dustbin was placed right there.Horticulture waste was seen piled up in several green belts in the sector. However, there was a stark difference between the green cover outside the houses and the green belts maintained by the government.
Predictably, the green covers outside these houses were lush, while the government-maintained green belts had leaves strewn all over.
Sectors 7-11 do not fare well on the cleanliness front too. Service lanes in these sectors are not well-kept. Sector 7, which as per municipal corporation records has the maximum number of sweepers, does not set a good example for other sectors. Bins overflow with garbage while roads remain as filthy as ever. The green belt facing the government houses in Sector 7A has been littered with waste. Garbage is piled up along the walls of private schools in the sector, thus sending a wrong message to children studying there. Sector 8 has a similar story to tell. The service lanes contain heaps of garbage.
Even the elected representatives of the people have failed to ensure cleanliness in their immediate surroundings.The green belt near the residence of Lok Sabha MP from Chandigarh Kirron Kher in 8B has dry leaves strewn all over and the service lane opposite the residence of Punjab Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa in Sector 8 is filthy.
Vacant plots in between houses in some parts of Sector 9 contain garbage heaps. MC sweepers in Sectors 10 and 11 do not bother about the cleanliness of these areas, as is evident from the horticulture waste piled up along the sides of several roads. The divider between various houses and Punjab secretariat in Sector 9 depict a similar sight.
Shortage of safai karamcharis
SL Gavari, president, Akhil Bharitya Safai Mazdoor Sangh, said, “The city has been facing a severe shortage of sweepers for several years. There is no proper policy to deploy safai karamcharis. The maximum sweepers have been deployed in two sectors: about 90 sweepers in Sector 39 and about 40 in Sector 7 where a majority of the government officials reside. The sweepers mostly work in the houses of these officers and neglect the public spaces in the two sectors.”