CHANGE OF two commissioners of the Kanpur Municipal Corporation (KMC) in quick succession may add to the city’s civic woes.
Suspension of previous commissioner Arvind Singh and the sudden transfer of Badal Chatterji have stalled the progress of various projects.
Chatterji took several steps to revive the KMC and chalked out a plan of Rs 1 crore for overall development of six zones of the city.
According to the plan, a comprehensive report of all six zones had to be prepared, giving details about sewage, water and other civic problems of each zone.
Due to his departure, the Common Chrome Recovery Plant, installed at Jajmau for treatment of effluents discharged by tanneries, may not function soon.
Talking to HT, a senior KMC official stated that it was due to the efforts of Chatterji that the treatment plant was installed.
He added, “The plant could not start functioning due to non-cooperation of tannery owners and the district administration,” the official said.
Despite several instructions and notices, the tannery owners did not construct chambers at their respective tanneries for collection of toxic waste, he added.
The KMC had no authority to enforce its orders. The district administration was authorised to take action against defaulters, he further said.
To do away with the garbage disposal problem, Chatterji engaged a private agency. The first phase of the garbage disposal project was implemented at Jajmau.
Chatterji was all set to implement it in other parts of the city. Participation of local residents was the sole reason for the project’s success.
He also rescued the KMC from a financial mess. The day he took over the KMC was in debt trap of Rs 120 crore.
He carried out special revenue realisation drives and soon filled in the empty coffers. The big defaulters were compelled to pay off their dues.
He also pursued the KMC case at the Allahabad High Court that imposed a three-month embargo on payment of salary to the staff and work on several projects. The municipal commissioner got the embargo lifted.
The ban was imposed by the High Court following a writ petition filed by a KMC pensioner Indee Devi.
It was due to the financial crisis that the KMC was not able to pay pension to its former employees. Indee Devi filed a petition in the Allahabad High Court seeking directions to the KMC for payment. Chatterji also took some hard decisions to stop corruption, including diesel theft.