Swachh Bharat: A year on, Amritsar continues to be garbage strewn

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Amritsar
  • Updated: Sep 13, 2015 20:04 IST
Abandoned garbage, missing sewer connections, damaged roads ail residents of illegal colonies

The 'Swaach Bharat Abhiyan' - a flagship programme of the Modi government will complete a year by the end of the month - but there has been little impact of the project on the ground in the streets of Amritsar.

Indifferent attitude of the city's administrators and those in the government has acted as a dampener on the execution of the project, even as money was sanctioned, for some projects at least.

"They (the city's mandarins and state government officials) are not bothered even if the city of Guru Ram Dass ends up turning into one of the dirtiest places in world," claimed Congress councillor, Raj Kanwalpreet Singh Lucky on Sunday.

He sought to back his claim by pointing to a recent national survey, which ranked Amritsar at the 430th spot on cleanliness.

He added that a major reason for the lack of cleanliness in the city was the inability of the MC House and the government to take a final call on the solid waste management project.

"Those who cannot even decide on where to dump garbage cannot be expected to ensure the success of the Swaach Bharat project," Lucky claimed, adding that symbolism was being accorded more importance than actual implementation.

"The announcement of the programme completes a year soon. We will soon be witness to the spectacle of mayor Bakshi Ram Arora and local bodies minister Anil Joshi, who belongs to Amritsar, sweeping the streets with a broom. The reality, however, will not change," he alleged.

"When Bhagatanwala residents refused to allow the city's garbage to be dumped in their locality, the mayor and his followers did not know what to do. No garbage was lifted for days and life became a living hell," he alleged.

'Grant not used'
Alleging that Central govt and other grants under the Swaach Bharat Abhiyaan were not used, the Congress councillor claimed that `1 crore were granted to the MC for purchasing dustbins and other equipment.

"Tenders amounting to Rs 54 lakh were also floated for purchase of dustbins but till date these have not been purchased," he claimed, demanding to know the status of the funds that had come from the centre.

Lucky also had a dig at the state government for not doing enough for the development of the holy city. A number of projects initiated by the government are still pending due to the lack of money or other reasons, he claimed.

"The Bus Rapid Transport System project has made the city look dirtier. Almost all roads have been dug up, making commuting a nightmare and
a fatal risk. The dug-up portions have become a breeding point of mosquitoes," he claimed.

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