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Behind Swachh Bharat Abhiyan lie MC’s cosmetic arrangements

punjab Updated: Nov 02, 2014 12:48 IST
Arjun Sharma

Three years after A2Z waste management company took charge of door-to-door lifting of garbage in Ludhiana, only five blocks of Kitchlu Nagar are enjoying the service.

With the municipal corporation (MC) not acting against the firm for not keeping up with the contract and only making cosmetic arrangements for garbage management, residents continue to be subjected to filth and health hazards due to garbage dumps dotting different corners of the city.

But, their pleas continue to fall on deaf ears.

When the contract between Ludhiana MC and A2Z company was signed in 2011, it was mandated that garbage be lifted from each and every home in all 75 wards of the city and transported to a main dump outside the city. It was never permitted to dump garbage on roadside dumps.

But let alone lifting garbage from each house, the firm has also failed to regularly lift garbage from roadside dumps, much to the annoyance of residents. As a result, the civic body, as part of make-do arrangements, allowed sweepers to lift garbage from each house and dump it at these dumping points, from where the A2Z firm could lift it and take to the main dumping ground.

The slack efforts of the MC can be gauged from the fact that a garbage dump is also located near the house of MC commissioner Pradeep Agarwal. Several other areas that have high profile inhabitants, including the Officers’ Colony near Rakh Bagh, also have such dumps. A huge dump is also located near Kailash Chowk where garbage is littered even on the main road.

A look at MC’s other “efforts” to sanitise the city include initiating the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan by cleaning different areas of the city, even as garbage dumps remain unmoved. Sources said the campaign’s schedule was only until October 31, and another schedule for November was formed recently.

MC had also planned to challan litterbugs who would be caught throwing garbage. However the plan has not been implemented so far.

Amarjit Singh Sekhon, chief of health and sanitation wing of MC, said till November 1, awareness was being spread among public against littering. “Soon a campaign of issuing challans against litterbugs would be started,” he claimed.

Only being questioned about A2Z’s shoddy performance, he said the firm was facing a financial crunch, and was therefore unable to lift garbage from each door. Why the civic body has failed to act against the firm for not fulfilling terms of the contract, in a city where garbage management is the need of the hour, remains a mystery.