Poor garbage management in the state capital rocked the Dehradun Municipal Corporation (DMC) board meeting on Tuesday as angry corporators created a ruckus seeking immediate action in view of the festive season.
Corporators from both the BJP and the Congress cried foul over heaps of garbage lying in the city for days. They blamed the civic body administration for failing to resolve the problem.
The civic body board comprises the mayor and elected corporators of 60 wards along with corporators nominated by the state government.
“The municipal corporation’s sanitation and waste collection staff is not serious towards the city’s cleanliness. We have to face the brunt of the public’s anger,” said Tripta Jatav, corporator of Indresh Nagar ward.
In an embarrassing situation, one of the dissatisfied corporators went ahead to blurt out expletives while expressing his angst against the mayor, after which he was asked to vacate the meeting hall.
Amita Singh, corporator of Mohitnagar, alleged that while the civic body administration was busy chalking out plans sitting in their plush offices, there was “no field work going on”, affecting the overall hygiene of the city.
Bhupendra Singh Kathait, the corporator of ward Hathibarkala, said that in many areas garbage vehicles were visiting only once in two or three days. “To make the matters worse, many garbage collection vehicles are also lying defunct,” he said.
As per municipal estimates, Dehradun generates around 350 metric tonnes of waste per day, of which 20-30% remains unattended per day on an average.
There are around 1.25 lakh households within the civic body limits, but waste collection task has not been taking place regularly in many areas.
Looking at the heated atmosphere, BJP leader and mayor Vinod Chamoli announced that the civic body would soon outsource door-to-door collection of waste from households to a private partner to improve the system’s efficiency.
“Besides, we’ll be installing underground dustbins, holding random checks to monitor waste disposal and collect user charges,” Chamoli said.
Other issues, which were discussed during the board meeting, included encroachment on civic body’s land, giving licenses to hawkers, imposition of house tax on slum areas among others.
It’s ‘time to be in limelight’ before elections
Corporators of the rival parties traded barbs during the meeting of the BJP-led municipal board on Tuesday, in an apparent bid to put their respective parties in a strong position ahead of the assembly election.
The BJP dominates the DMC while the Congress – which is otherwise the ruling party in the state – is in minority in the civic body board.
Tuesday meeting saw “charged-up efforts” by the BJP to ensure its dominance over the Congress within the main Dehradun city. At least five assembly constituencies fall under the DMC limits.
“This is a crucial time for us to make our presence felt among the public and raise their concerns at the city’s own self-government (DMC),” Sushil Gupta, a BJP corporator from Lakhi Bagh ward, told HT.
The BJP has dominated the Dehradun municipal board since 2008 under mayor Vinod Chamoli’s leadership. Chamoli himself is keen to contest the 2017 polls from the Dharampur assembly constituency.
The Congress, on the other hand, made desperate attempts to target the DMC’s BJP leadership over its failure to curb encroachments in the city, among other issues.
Jagdish Dhiman, a senior Congress corporator from Gandhi Gram ward who is eyeing to contest assembly polls from Dehradun Cantt seat, was the “most active” in his participation in the board meeting.
“It is the time to be in limelight and what better opportunity than the board meeting. Due to daily interaction with the public, we (corporators) form the backbones of our parties. In fact, some corporators have even gone ahead to become MLAs in the past,” said a senior Congress corporator requesting anonymity.