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Panvel residents relieved as Cidco starts clearing garbage, after 3 days

Cidco had not cleared garbage since March 28; it resumed collection after orders from the Maharashtra government

mumbai Updated: Mar 31, 2018 15:10 IST
G. Mohiuddin Jeddy
G. Mohiuddin Jeddy
Hindustan Times
Panvel garbage,Navi Mumbai,Cidco
Cidco resumed garbage collection in the area after three days.(HT File Photo/Used for representational purpose only)

Residents of Panvel heaved a sigh of relief on Saturday, as the City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco) resumed garbage collection in the area after three days. The decision came following instructions from the state government.

Since March 28, Cidco had not been clearing garbage from areas under the limits of the Panvel City Municipal Corporation (PCMC). As a result, huge piles of garbage had collected in various nodes such as Panvel city, Kharghar, New Panvel, Kalamboli, Kamothe and Taloja.

Cidco decided to stop collecting garbage despite a state government notification asking it to continue to do so until a three-member committee appointed by it submits a roadmap for the transfer of civic services from Cidco to PCMC. The panel has been given three months’ time.

Bhushan Gagrani, vice-chairman and managing director of Cidco, had expressed unhappiness that the government had taken this decision without consulting Cidco, and that garbage collection is a primary function of the civic body.

The garbage row between Cidco and PCMC has been going on for a while now. Until PCMC came into being on October 1, 2016, Cidco was the planning authority for nodal areas of Panvel. Since then, Cidco has set several deadlines for PCMC to take over various civic responsibilities, which the civic body has refused, citing financial and manpower constraints.

Cidco had issued a final deadline of March 15 to PCMC, after which it had said it would stop garbage collection. PCMC had countered that it amounted to contempt of the government order.

As uncollected garbage piled up, residents in the area got agitated and were planning to file a public interest litigation and hold protests. Following several conversations at Mantralaya, the PCMC administration approached the chief minister, after which the state government on Friday evening directed Cidco to continue garbage collection.

On Saturday, Cidco started clearing garbage, and the effect was immediately visible. “We had a major problem in our area as a huge pile of garbage was strewn all over. It had become a major health concern, and there was a strong stench,” said Khaleel Athavani, 46, a resident of Panvel. “Cidco personnel began clearing garbage on Saturday morning, and that’s such a relief. We are hopeful that all the garbage will be cleared today, and that services will be regular henceforth.”

Athavani complained that residents had to suffer because of differences between Cidco and PCMC. “The nodal agencies must coordinate better and people’s interests must be paramount,” he added.

Sandhya Bawakhule, deputy municipal commissioner, PCMC, said: “The efforts of the administration have paid off. The situation has been resolved, and citizens will not have to suffer anymore.”

According to Bawakhule, once the three-member panel lays down the roadmap, “civic services will be transferred after due process and at the right time when PCMC is capable of handling it”.

Mohan Ninawe, senior public relations officer of Cidco, said: “Cidco has started collecting garbage from the nodal areas. The piled up garbage will be cleared at the earliest.”

First Published: Mar 31, 2018 15:08 IST