Garbage heaps are a common sight in Jaipur nowadays, as the Jaipur Municipal Corporation hasn’t allegedly cleared agencies’ dues forcing them to strike work.
The contract of the private agencies expired on July 30. The JMC agreed to increase their tenure by two months. However, the agencies have refused to work unless they are paid their dues which amounts to crores of rupees. The agencies have also demanded a 10% hike in the remuneration citing increase in the rate of service tax.
“We have been providing our services since August 2015. Till now we have received the only a month’s payment out of the 11 months’ dues. Our bills amounting to Rs 15 crore for the period of five months were approved. But, till now we haven’t received any money. The bills for the rest of the months are still being processed by the JMC. We have decided that we won’t work or take up new contracts unless all our dues are cleared,” said one of the contractors.
The JMC is unable to handle the garbage clearance in the absence of the private agencies. The main reason is that the corporation doesn’t have as many collection vehicles as are with the contractors.
The contractors have 180 tractors, 50 dumpers and 50 loaders which are currently not being used for garbage lifting as a result of the strike. In comparison, the JMC has only 6 tractors, 24 dumpers and 50 loaders.
The situation has become so worse that even extra shifts by the JMC owned vehicles are not helping the sanitation situation.
“Our vehicles are currently doing three shifts in order to make up for the lack of vehicles. We are trying to cover all the areas of the city,” said executive engineer (garage) Atul Sharma. However, the residents said that all the JMC vehicles are operating in the VIP areas only.
A contractor said, “Our bills are cross-checked with the information received from the GPS system to verify that the vehicles went to the areas to collect garbage. But the GPS system has technical glitches which delays the processing of our bills.”
However, JMC officials said that they were taking steps to address this sorry state of affairs when it comes to sanitation.
JMC commissioner Hemand Kumar Gera said, “We are in talks with a few people who could provide us garbage-lifting vehicles such as tractors, loaders, JCB machines and dumpers. We are hoping that a decision in this regard will be reached by Wednesday. By making it an open process where we will pay the same rates that we used to pay the contractors to anyone who provides us the vehicles, the sanitation facilities can be improved. If needed, the vehicles will continue to do extra shifts.”.