Even as Chandigarh is vying for the “clean city” title under the Swachh Survekshan - 2017, the Sector 17 Plaza, known as the heart of the City Beautiful, presents a dismal picture.
It seems UT administrator VP Singh Badnore’s visit to the city’s downtown and rebuke to officers on Friday failed to bring any change, as garbage could be seen strewn all around the parking and market area on Saturday.
Representatives of the Union ministry of urban development are also expected to visit the city to inspect its cleanliness as part of the survey. Municipal corporation (MC) officials, meanwhile, are ready with an excuse: strike of sanitation workers.
Visit to Sector 17 on Saturday revealed that garbage has piled up along the pavement and parking lots. Right at the entry to the Sector 17 Plaza from the parking lot situated just 50 metres from the MC building, a pile of garbage greets visitors. The area around the bridge market is in even worse condition, with wrappers and leftovers thrown around carelessly.
Dustbins at the Plaza are also overflowing with garbage, while littering by visitors remains a big problem.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) councillors, soon after winning the MC elections, have been claiming that they would take forward the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and make Chandigarh beautiful in the real sense. But seeing the condition of the Sector 17 market, it looks like an uphill task.
“The Plaza is the most-visited place in the city, both by locals and tourists, especially during winters. The authorities concerned should make concrete arrangements to keep the area neat and clean always,” said Harish Jain, a visitor.
Yamini Kaushal, a city resident, said: “People found littering the Plaza should be fined. Before working on making the buildings look uniform, the administration should take care of basic sanitation here.”
MC joint commissioner Manoj Khatri said: “Sector 17 got littered because of the ongoing strike. Otherwise, cleanliness is maintained in the area. We are in talks with the sanitation workers and are hopeful that the strike will end soon. We will get the Plaza cleaned up.”