In order to ensure that the big heap of garbage that has accumulated in the seasonal rivulet, known as chotti nadi, is removed before the onset of monsoon, local MLA Brahm Mohindra, on Friday, moved a petition before Punjab vidhan Sabha secretary, highlighting severe condition of seasonal drainage along the Tafajalpura to old Octrai road in city’s outskirts and also sought it timely cleanliness.
The MLA, along with several other councillors and area residents, physically inspected the rivulet’ and said the seasonal rain-fed drainage has literally turned into a dumping site for garbage and could invite flood like situation if not cleaned timely. The chotti nadi flows through several residential colonies, including Tafajalpura, Gurbax Colony, Guru Nanak Nagar, Bishan Nagar, SST Nagar, Ram Nagar and Sundar nagar Colony.
Talking to HT, he said even as monsoon was around the corner, the big heap of garbage could be seen inside the rivulet along with stagnant dirty water, inviting water-borne diseases.
“If this prevalent mess could not be cleared at the earliest, it will create a major blockage in smooth flow of rain water and can become major source of dengue and malaria,” he said.
He claimed that both the irrigation department and the local administration were approached several times in past to clear the waste, but no avail.
Irrigation dept, MC fights over jurisdiction
When contacted, superintending engineer, irrigation (Patiala division), Barjinder Singh Brar told HT that the rivulet was already cleared once and the MC was responsible in case it has again turned into a garbage spot.
He informed that six months ago there was a decision by the state government that the municipal corporations would take care for the cleanliness of seasonal rivulets that fall within their jurisdiction.
“In this case, Patiala MC had to clean this stretch, but even then, we went ahead cleaning it and literally extracted huge quantity of waste, following the directions from the local administration. But if people are again dumping garbage here, the MC is responsible for it and must ensure that it remains clean,” he added
He said his department had written several letters in past to the MC to stop the illegal dumping here, but to no avail.
Countering him, Mayor Amarinder Singh Bajaj said the MC was not at all responsible for its cleanliness, as the irrigation department was unnecessarily imposing its responsibility on the civic body. “They must ensure its cleanliness. If they feel that people are dumping garbage here, they must challan them and even book them,” he added.
Amid their tug of war, Brahm Mohindra said such administrative duplicity reflected the poor functioning of the state government. “They are not bothered to about serving people,” he said.
“I have sought a report from the secretary of Vidhan Sabha through assembly’s petition committee and will ensure that the rivulet is spruced up before the monsoon. I will not hesitate to sit on protest if timely action is not taken,” he added.