It was in Sector 17 where Member of Parliament Kirron Kher, city mayor Harphool Chander Kalyan and other MC officials and councillors pledged to maintain cleanliness during a function on October 2, but just a few yards away from the MC office, one is welcomed by piles of garbage.
Known as tricity’s most popular shopping arcade for decades, the Sector-17 Plaza is also known as the City Centre. Every day, nearly 5,000 people from the city and its twin towns of Panchkula and SAS Nagar visit the area, and the number goes up to 8,000 on weekends.
A visit to the arcade revealed relatively clean Sectors 17-A and B (the area near the MC office), but things were appalling in C, D and E (the shopping areas). Customers are subjected to weeds and heaps of garbage in parking lots thanks to inadequate number of dustbins, malba not being lifted for several months, and rickshaws and cycles parked in corridors in Sectors 17-D and E.
The commercial nature of the area has not stopped rickshaw pullers from making it their home. They unabashedly wash clothes and prepare food in the open, leaving garbage behind. Their clothes drying in the corridors add to the ugly picture.
Area councillor Pardeep Chhabra said though around 100 sweepers were deployed in Sector 17, only half of them came to work. “MC is paying for even the ghost employees. We have never seen any MC official inspecting cleanliness work in Sector 17,” he added.
Rajbir Singh, sanitary inspector of Sector 17, said, “We regularly clean the A and B parts of the sector, but clean Sector 17-C, D and E only every four days.”
Tomorrow: More markets