With just 53 days to go, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had to take back her words yet again after civic agencies failed to meet the August 10 deadline to remove debris from the Capital’s roads.
Dikshit has now set a new deadline — August 31.
But the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) claimed it has not missed the deadline, as it had not set any to begin with.
“It is the Chief Minister who has not met the deadline. We had never set a deadline of August 10. We will remove all the debris in a week’s time. We have already removed 60,000 metric tonne of debris,” Mayor Prithvi Raj Sawhney said.
Earlier, while setting the August 10 deadline, the CM had said there would be no deviation in the deadline.
But a walk down any of Delhi's roads — littered with construction and demolition waste — shows just how seriously the agencies took this warning. The CM isn’t too ruffled though.
“Most of the work has been done. But some agencies that are not under the control of the Delhi government are still to complete work. We have now given a new deadline,” she said.
Civic agencies are still racing against time to complete projects at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Connaught Place, Pahar Ganj, Savitri Cinema, Tolstoy Marg, KG Marg, Janpath, North Campus, near Akshardham and Karkardooma court among others.
The material lying around these places is a massive inconvenience to motorists and residents. But rather than solve the problem, the civic agencies are busy playing the blame game.
“We have removed debris from all major roads in our jurisdiction. In case we carry out any digging, it will be removed the same day,” said Deep Mathur, MCD’s director, press.
“A number of agencies, including the DMRC, had sought permission to carry out digging. Work is still being carried out, so naturally there will be debris. By August 31, we will clear all of it,” said Delhi Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta.
Blame game begins
The MCD has said it cannot be blamed for not meeting the deadline as the Delhi government had tied up with a private firm for removing debris from the streets.
“The chief minister had tied up with Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services for removal of construction waste from the city. They are paying them R 5 crore for this. Why should we remove the debris?” said Jagdish Mamgain, chairman of MCD’s Works Committee.