The recently released Swachh Bharat rankings that showed Dehradun at 26 among the 29 state capitals of the country surveyed raked up a political storm on Tuesday with rival camps blaming each other for the mess.
Dehradun also ranked 360th among the 476 cities of over one lakh population surveyed by the Union ministry of urban development during 2014-15 under the National Sanitation Policy of 2008.
Only five capital cities ranked beyond 300 on the list, and Doon is one of the poorest performers.
Calling the BJP leadership in the Dehradun Municipal Corporation (DMC) a ‘total failure’, Congress leader Suryakant Dhasmana demanded the resignation of mayor Vinod Chamoli “taking moral responsibility” for the poor city rankings.
Dhasmana, who had unsuccessfully contested the mayoral polls in 2013, said the civic body’s sanitation mechanism had completely collapsed.
“Garbage disposal is one of the most basic jobs of the DMC and the BJP-led board has failed to maintain even that. The rankings have clearly exposed the efficacy of the mayor and he should immediately resign on moral grounds,” Dhasmana told press on Tuesday.
The Congress leader alleged that Chamoli — currently in his second consecutive term as the mayor — has let the Doonites down.
Despite two years having passed by in his current term, there has hardly been any change in the solid waste management system in the city, he alleged.
“With the poor rankings, the city residents have been forced to hang their heads in shame and the DMC head should take responsibility for it,” he told HT.
Reacting to the Congress leader’s scathing remarks, the mayor, in turn, demanded the resignation of chief minister Harish Rawat for having failed to support the DMC in its endeavours.
“I agree that garbage disposal is not in its best shape right now but the CM — who had promised to help us in the form of cleanliness equipment and a full-time municipal health officer — failed to deliver on his words,” Chamoli told HT.
“He (Rawat) also failed to ensure that the administration executed his instructions and hence it is his resignation that should be demanded for a weak leadership,” the mayor said.
The survey assessed the total sanitation practices in the 476 cities on a set of parameters such as extent of open defecation, solid waste management, wastewater management, drinking water quality and surface water quality of water bodies among others.