The cleanliness drive, undertaken under the much- hyped Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, launched by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has failed to make any difference to the 10-km long distributary of the Bist Doab canal that passes through the city. Garbage, dumped in and around the canal, continues to pollute the water of the canal, making it a health hazard for the people.
Despite several requests by the irrigation department, the municipal corporation authorities have failed to install dustbins on the banks of the canal. Even the district administration had asked the municipal corporation (MC) a few months ago to install dustbins, but to no avail.
Sources in the irrigation department said the MCJ had assured the district administration at a meeting, attended by the deputy commissioner and other administrative officials, a few months ago that the civic body would develop proper dumps and install dustbins at various places adjoining the canal but no steps have been taken in this respect so far.
Amarjeet Singh, sub-divisional officer, irrigation, said, "We have raised the issue with the MC several times and requested the authorities concerned to manage the waste in the area. Our department had even earmarked certain points for installation of dustbins and construction of dumps along the canal, but so far no action has been taken by the MC."
Residents living in the area, adjacent to the canal, said though the authorities have spent a lot of money on the repair of the canal, they have done nothing to keep the canal water clean and garbage continued to be dumped into the canal.
Officials in the irrigation department said, "People, living in the adjoining areas, usually throw their household waste, including polythene bags, which choke the flow of water at many places. During the rains, the area becomes inhabitable with foul smell emanating from around the area."
MS Chattwal, commissioner, and Sunil Jyoti, mayor of the municipal corporation, were not available for comments.
KK Yadav, deputy commissioner (DC) said, "I have directed the officials concerned to install dustbins alongside the canal and asked the irrigation department to clean the canal water. I will again take a look into the matter and will direct the civic authorities to act at the earliest."