Shortage of sanitation workers has turned Jaipur into a huge garbage dump over the past week, posing a serious threat to people’s health, but the men in corporation don’t know how to deal with the stink.
The Jaipur Municipal Corporation (JMC) has received over 100 complaints from across the eight zones of the city about tones of garbage dumped on roadsides and in residential areas.
“In the past one week, no one has collected garbage from our area and mounds of garbage can be seen dumped right outside our houses…The stench coming from the garbage is often unbearable, but there is no one to address the issue,” said Mansarovar resident Neetika Bhargava.
In its general body meeting last month, the JMC administration had decided that the services of the sanitation company Dream Constructions would not be extended beyond May 31. As a result, since June 1 the civic body is short of the estimated 3,000 temporary beat sanitation workers who worked with the company.
Spread across its eight zones, the JMC has 4,975 permanent sanitation workers. In many of these areas, the number of permanent workers was reduced and sent to areas where the civic body was facing problems in absence of temporary workers.
Residents, however, said that the permanent sanitation workers are mostly absent from duty.
“There is no system of garbage collection and even if garbage is cleared in the morning, throughout the day there is no one to dispose of the garbage that keeps accumulating. There are many temples in the Walled City and waste from these temples is left to rot right on the roads outside. Flies and insects swarm over these places and then enter our homes and shops,” said Kamal Kumar, a shopowner near Badi Chaupar.
JMC officials accepted that there was a staff crunch, but said the civic body was taking steps to address the problem. “A short-term tender was invited yesterday (on Thursday) and the financial bids were also opened. Within 5-7 days, we will be giving the contracts to lift garbage to eight different companies in the eight zones of the city. Once they start working, the civic situation will improve,” said deputy mayor Manoj Bhardwaj. He, however, accepted that currently the JMC was short of sanitation inspectors.
“The exam for the recruitment of sanitation inspectors is being conducted by the Directorate of Local Bodies (DLB), which is the parent organisation of the JMC,” said Bhardwaj.