21 villages near Doon to pay sanitation fee
Starting January 2016, locals residing in 21 village panchayats adjoining Dehradun will be required to pay a sanitation fee which is likely to improve cleanliness in the fast-urbanising rural areas bordering the city.dehradun Updated: Dec 18, 2015 17:12 IST
Starting January 2016, locals residing in 21 village panchayats adjoining Dehradun will be required to pay a sanitation fee which is likely to improve cleanliness in the fast-urbanising rural areas bordering the city.
Officials have claimed that the revenue collected through the fee will be put to use for improving civic facilities — especially waste collection and disposal — in the respective locations that have significantly urbanised over the years but continue to fall technically under ‘village areas’.
So far, there has been no concrete waste management system in the village panchayat areas, officials said.
Dehradun chief development officer (CDO) Alok Kumar Pandey said that the fee will be collected by the respective village panchayats and mini trucks for garbage collection and some waste workers will then be put to work through the revenue collected.
Public meetings were held to build consensus for the proposal and 21 villages have expressed their willingness to pay the fee so far. “Efforts are on to hold talks with other village panchayats to convince them,” Pandey said.
District panchayati raj officer Mohammad Mustafa Khan said that the proposal for charging the sanitation fee was also sent to the state government for its approval around four months ago.
“Having received the government’s go-ahead, we are currently working to determine the fee rates for various buildings like households, commercial establishments, private schools, clinics and new constructions,” he said.
Uttarakhand currently follows the Uttar Pradesh Panchayati Raj Act, 1947, which gives powers to local rural bodies to impose various taxes or charges at their level.
Panchayati raj joint director DP Devradi said that the sanitation fee will be imposed only in some villages in the Dehradun district for now, as the government does not have any plans to replicate the model elsewhere in the state.
“Uttarakhand is currently in the process of preparing its own Panchayati Raj Act, so any decision about imposing such a tax in all village panchayats of the state will be taken only once it (the Act) comes into existence,” he said.
Locals, however, have raised concerns over the efficacy of the move, given that garbage collection charges have barely improved the situation in the city.
“Garbage disposal is poorly managed even in the main city (Dehradun Municipal Corporation area), which has been imposing similar charges for years now. We hope the same does not take place in our areas from next month,” said Rashid Abbas Khan, a resident of Sevalakalan.