While the brass of municipal corporation enjoy the comforts of their offices, it seems they are least concerned about the working conditions of the lower officials at the record rooms of the MC headquarter in Zone A.
A visit to the record rooms in the basement of the MC headquarter reveals the civic body's laxity towards maintaining important record and official documents.
While the house tax record pertaining to Zone A is stored in one record room, record pertaining to social welfare, government notifications, agenda of the past several years and pension of officials of all wards is kept in the adjoining room.
Files gathering dust and lying exposed to seepage in walls in a dimly lit room don't seem to be inviting top officials' attention.
According to sources, files of house tax related to block 2-13, 25, 32 and 33 are kept in the record room of the house tax.
These are some of the most important blocks of the MC where four officials including an incharge and three helpers are present.
Interestingly, MC commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma has visited these record rooms only once since he joined the MC eight months ago.
The other record room in the same basement has records pertaining to important notifications of the government, agenda, pensions and files pertaining to the social welfare schemes.
This room has 10 officials in total, including three female staff members.
An official said there was a dire need to change the location of both the record rooms, as they emanated stench, which also posed a health hazard to the officials, who have to sit in these rooms throughout the day.
“There is no cross ventilation in these rooms, which leads to suffocation. Seepage in the walls adds to our woes. We have reported these issues to the top officials several times but in vain,” said an official, on the condition of anonymity.
Interestingly, some records could not be retrieved from these rooms because they were either spoiled due to seepage or damaged by rats.
“We have found several cats also roaming in the rooms in search of rats. Recently, there was foul smell emanating from under a cupboard. On looking for the cause, we found a dead cat under it,” said other officials.
An official said in absence of cross ventilation, mosquitoes continued to remain in the corners of the rooms, putting officials at the risk of vector-borne diseases.
The HT team visiting both the record rooms found that a large number of files on shelves had been damaged due to fungus, as there was no sunlight in these rooms.
A top official said the record rooms were located in the basement due to scarcity of space.
“Many officials are sitting in cramped areas because of scarcity of space. Getting new rooms for these record files is not possible at this moment,” he said.