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Kirron Kher raises a stink over Chandigarh’s Swachh slip in MC meet, smells a rat in contract too 

In the Chandigarh MC house, MP Kirron Kher makes stern remarks about ‘worsening’ sanitation in City Beautiful.

punjab Updated: May 31, 2017 11:21 IST
Hillary Victor 
Hillary Victor 
Hindustastan Times, Chandigarh
Kirron Kher,Swachh Bharat,Chandigarh MC
Chandigarh MP Kirron Kher speaking at the MC meeting on Tuesday. While she was particularly serious on issues concerning the city, she was also seen interacting with councillors. (Ravi Kumar/HT)

Underlining the city’s fall in the Swachh Bharat (Clean India) survey rankings, MP Kirron Kher came down heavily on the Chandigarh municipal corporation at a House meeting on Tuesday.

Speaking in the meeting as an ex-officio member, she said sanitation in the city has gone from bad to worse, and also put a question mark over allotment of the sanitation contract to Delhi-based company Lions Services. She suggested that the firm be replaced. Kher was unsparing even as the MC is governed by her party, the BJP.

“Last year, we were number 2 in the Swachh Survekshan (survey), but now we are number 11. I receive so many letters from citizens complaining about poor sanitation, and I really feel bad about it,” she said.

The company that’s been given the contract last year “has completely failed in keeping the city clean, despite the MC’s paying them Rs 4.5 crore per month”.

“Till 2015, the sanitation was much better; around 1,570 employees were deployed. Now the company has only deployed 670. Today we see heaps of garbage everywhere,” Kher argued.

She also went after the contractor’s performance at other places: “If we look at the track record of the company in four cities — Amritsar, Chandigarh, SAS Nagar and Jalandhar — the rankings have gone down. Amritsar’s last year was 49,

and now 258. SAS Nagar and Jalandhar did not participate in the survey in 2016, but this year their rankings are 121 and 233, respectively.”

‘Buy machine!’

She also raised the point that the MC is paying Rs 45 lakh a month for a cleaning machine, and has hired three: “Why can’t the MC buy the machine, which costs

Rs 1 crore?” She added, “We need to get down to work. Only propaganda will not work. I suggest that ward cleanliness committees, resident welfare associations be involved.”

Congress councillor Gurbax Rawat said a special meeting on sanitation should be held where the company’s representatives should also be called.

Reacting to Kher’s assertions, MC commissioner B Purushartha said, “Issues that the MP raised are correct to some extent. We are now trying to improve.”

‘What ODF?’

On Chandigarh being an open-defecation-free (ODF) city, Kher said, “Though we claim that Chandigarh is ODF, but we know the reality! Most people in colonies and villages still go out for defection. We need to work on it.” She also asked the MC to take steps to curb dog-bite cases.

First Published: May 31, 2017 11:20 IST