As city’s councillors return from a Rs 18 lakh study tour (conducted in three batches to Mumbai, Pune and Vishakhapatnam) on Friday, will the city be in for implementation of fresh ideas that will improve quality of life? The answer is no, if the official release sent to the press on what was done during the tours is any indication. According to the release, the councillors ‘studied’ the working of a garbage processing plant, door to door collection of garbage and techniques to clean sewer lines, even as they stayed in five-star hotels in all these locations. The group from Vishakhapatnam will return on Saturday.
So, even as the councillors are yet to formally submit a report on their study, past history indicates that the three issues have been studied, in fact researched threadbare, by previous councillors of all parties starting 2004. Records show that Rs 1.5 crore has been splurged on these study tours since.
Rs 28-lakh spent, 2014 Port Blair study tour report turned to be a copy-paste job
In 2014, councillors after spending Rs 28 lakh on a nine-day study tour to Port Blair, Chennai and Kolkata from August 31 to September 9, the municipal corporation prepared a vague report and posted it on its website. Its content was found to be ‘lifted verbatim’ from the websites of Chennai, Kolkata MCs etc.
No result over 12 years
Some of the projects launched on the basis of such study tours have been a damp squib. Instances are the Night Food Street opposite the PGI; a fish market, blind park and modern ‘dhobi ghats’. All projects now lie in various stages of limbo. So, as the new MC House completes another round of tours, will anything useful come out?
Projects from previous study tours in limbo
In 2015, the then MC commissioner, Bhawna Garg and then joint commissioner Rajeev Gupta visited Coimbatore to study door to door garbage collection, but nothing has been done.
In 2006, three councillors and three officers went to Germany, Austria and Italy to study garbage processing plant
Last year, MC Commissioner B Purshartha, former Mayor Arun Sood and medical officer health Dr Parminder Bhatti also visited Barabanki in Uttar Pradesh to study the same, to no concrete result
In 2013, six councillors and three officers visited Delhi to study the latest technology for tertiary treated water and even report was submitted..
In November 2013, the then mayor Subhash Chawla, then commissioner VP Singh and then executive engineer Rajesh Bansal visited Israel to study improving water supply system and tertiary treated water after spending Rs 7 lakh for no result.
In 2007, 15 councillors and officers visited Singapore for seven days to study horticulture waste, but nothing was implemented. MC spent around 20 lakhs on the tour.