Just 4% Swachh Bharat funds used in Panchkula, worst in tricity | punjab | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Just 4% Swachh Bharat funds used in Panchkula, worst in tricity

Inability to spend Even as MC has spent only Rs 1.4 cr of grant of Rs 37 cr; the city continue to battle with only 186 bins; staff shortage of 28% in sanitation dept

punjab Updated: Oct 06, 2017 15:34 IST
Vivek Gupta
LACK OF WILL: The daily waste generation is more than 168 tonne per day and public toilets are in bad shape. Nothing seems to move the babus.
LACK OF WILL: The daily waste generation is more than 168 tonne per day and public toilets are in bad shape. Nothing seems to move the babus. (Sant Arora/HT)

While the sanitation condition in the city has gone from bad to worse, the Panchkula authorities has spent only 4% of the budget allocated under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan so far. Of Rs 37 crore sanctioned, Panchkula municipal corporation, the nodal agency responsible for use of these funds, has managed to spend only Rs 1.43 crore (4%). It has been three years since Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched this flagship programme on Gandhi Jayanti. The Union government allocated Rs 37 crore — to be spent over five years — to Panchkula. The MC has not given its proposals on how to spend the remaining money.

The paltry spend Rs 1.4 crore is also under a single head (Individual household Latrin) where 1,500 applicants were disbursed grant for constructing toilets in their households. Then a paltry sum was used for the public awareness. Surprisingly, there is no utilisation for budget under constructing community and public toilet. This, despite public toilets being in a bad shape as HT highlighted recently.

Nothing spent on solid waste management

Not a single penny spent on solid waste management even as the daily waste generation is more than 168 tonne per day. This has been dumped, unscientifically for years now, at a garbage landfill site in Sector 23.

As per the recent affidavit filed by Panchkula, the MC had just 186 bins to collect the garbage across Panchkula, Kalka and Pinjore. As a result small unauthorised dumping ground have been created in city’s many pockets including one in Sector 24 and another in Pinjore’s Saini Mohalla. In fact, Panchkula, once called Haryana’s Paris, was ranked 211 in annual Swachh Survekshan Survey for this year, the worst performer in tricity.

SK Nayyar, president of citizen welfare association said that it is shocking that all top officials in Panchkula were recently seen cleaning roads in order to promote sanitation here. “But ironically the grant that is sanctioned to them to create infrastructure to ensure proper cleanliness system is unspent,” he said

Panchkula, once called Haryana’s Paris, was ranked 211 in annual Swachh Survekshan Survey for this year, the worst performer in tricity.

There is huge shortage of sanitation workers in the city as a proposal to hire proposal to hire new 229 sanitation workers (28% staff shortage) is hanging fire for long. The existing staff of 593 workers is not sufficient to clean areas under its jurisdiction. The main sectors in the city continue to be well-off with the presence of sufficient manpower for cleaning roads and streets, other areas — especially the trans-ghaggar Sectors from 23-31 have been largely neglected.

The cleanliness of community centre and public toilets is also laying neglected. A Sector-25 resident Hemant Sharma said he could not find any sanitation worker in the area.

Commissioner assures better system

Admitting that there were shortcomings, newly-joined municipal commissioner Rajesh Jogpal said, “Serious efforts were being made to spend the budget allocated under the mission.” He added that the MC planned to introduce a waste to-compost project in order to streamline the collection and processing of garbage.

“As part of this, we will distribute at least two bins in each sector to ask residents to start segregating kitchen and other household waste,” he said while explaining the waste from household will be then collected through remote controlled hydraulically operated cart that has two bins to collect different waste material. He further said that these carts will then transport the garbage to new collection points before taking the garbage to processing plant, tendering of which has already been issued.

“We have identified areas where public toilets will be constructed soon,” he said. Jogpal said that he has already directed staff to make new projects so that new grants are sought under the Swachh Bharat Mission.