The Congress government in Uttarakhand and the BJP-ruled Dehradun Municipal Corporation on Wednesday appeared to be headed for a showdown after chief minister Harish Rawat publicly pulled up the civic body for allegedly failing to solve the capital’s woes.
During a janta durbar’ an interaction with citizens on Tuesday Rawat threatened to clean the city’s choked and overflowing drains if the DMC failed to clear the same by Friday. A miffed Vinod Chamoli, the city mayor, responded on Wednesday by saying that instead of engaging in such public displays of displeasure, the chief minister should first “fulfill his responsibility” by making the civic body self-sufficient to resolve the citizens’ problems.
Heavy rains over the past few days have left large parts of Dehradun a tourist summer destination for its picturesque locales and mild climate waterlogged with major arteries and residential areas under water.
Residents allege that the problem has been aggravated by the DMC’s failure to clean the drains regularly.
Sources said the citizens’ anger too overflowed during their interaction with Rawat, prompting the angry outburst from the chief minister who is said to have pulled up corporation officials for allegedly failing to resolve the public complaints.
“I will myself come (to clean the city drains) on Friday if the same is not ensured by the officials till then,” Rawat was quoted as saying. Surendra Kumar, Rawat’s media in-charge, said the public’s anger “indicates that their grievance is not being catered to properly at the local level.”Rawat’s words, however, do not appear to have gone down well with the DMC.
“The CM should first concentrate on providing the local body with adequate manpower including a full-time municipal health officer and clear the project report of a proposed waste management plant that has been pending with the government for a few months now,” the mayor told HT.
The civic body has long been complaining that staff shortage was hampering its sanitation work. In between, municipal commissioner Nitin Singh Bhadauria said that the DMC worked on war-footing on Wednesday to “clear the choked drains of the city” following the CM’s directions.
He added that a meeting of the DMC, Mussoorie Dehradun Development Authority and district administration officials will soon be held to “chalk out a joint plan for sorting out other local issues, mainly encroachments”.