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Jalandhar

Posted at: Feb 12, 2018, 2:29 AM; last updated: Feb 12, 2018, 2:30 AM (IST)

Sick of MC apathy, traders turn stinking dump into green haven

Avneet Kaur

Jalandhar, February 11

A place which looked like a living hell with garbage strewn all across the road and scavengers and stray dogs taking their fill day and night at the point has now been transformed into a haven, making it pleasing to the eyes.

Interestingly, not a single penny of the government has been spent for the big feat – which has completely been managed by shopkeepers on the Ladowali road, setting an example for the Municipal Corporation (MC) which has conveniently been ignoring the city’s deplorable garbage dumping points.

Frustrated by the lack of action on part of the MC, the shopkeepers on the Ladowali road here got an illegal dumping point — falling on the road — cleaned by private workers and slammed the MC for its continuous ignorance towards civic issues.

The dumping point which got cleared, falls nears Cargo Motors workshop on the Ladowali road here. While the road is a completely commercial area having over 50 shops, the shopkeepers, besides getting the area cleared and sick of the MC’s unresponsiveness to their repeated complaints, decided to seek their own solution to the problem. They, therefore, got a tent installed at the point, planted saplings and got two private security guards in order to keep a watch on cleanliness at the place.

Shopkeepers in the area said, “We made a lot of calls and posted letters to the MC from time to time, but to no avail. Garbage dealers collecting waste from all nearby hotels and restaurants used to dump garbage at vacant plots here, to be scattered later by stray cattle in the area. The area had become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other insects, causing problems and diseases to commuters and workers working in the shops nearby for the last past over five years.”

The Deputy General Manager of Cargo Motors, ID Sharma, said, “I had been tired of complaining to the MC officials again and again about clearing the area as it falls adjacent to my workshop and was troubling my workers a lot. More than 250 workers work in my workshop and were prone to harmful diseases due to the dumping of waste.”

Foul smell was another big problem. Apart from that, many accidents had taken place in the past due to stray cattle taking up a large area near the dump, he added. Shopkeepers also complained that efforts should be made to generate awareness about cleanliness and sanitation and bringing about behavioural changes on health and hygiene practices.

Ground Reality

The much-hyped nationwide Swachh Bharat project has hit a major roadblock in Jalandhar, with the absence of a dedicated garbage collection service by the civic body. The bins, due to less capacity, remain full and garbage scattered throughout the day, showing the plight of the Swachh Bharat project in the city.

Several dumping areas lie riddled with dump piles which are not picked for ages. Notorious among the dumping grounds include the playground near DAV College, Focal Point, the dump under the flyover at the Chugutti Chowk, Ram Nagar Colony (Sodal), Surya Enclave Extension, Plaza Chowk in front of the MC office, dump near Burlton Park, Nakodar Road among other areas.

Residents’ woes

A majority of the vacant plots have become dumping points in the city. Things have come to such a pass that we are unable to invite our relatives and friends to our residence and remain worried for children, who might get infected, said Archana Singh, a housewife, a resident of Maqsuda, adding that in front of her house, a vacant plot was converted into a dump. She had been trying all possible ways to get the plot cleaned, but nothing had happened.

Shivam Goyal, another resident from Chugutti, said, “The garbage dump has now become an eyesore. No MC sweeper visits here regularly. I urge the authorities to do the needful, besides only collecting the Swachh Bharat cess.”


Officialspeak

MC Commissioner Basant Garg while speaking on the issue, said, “We are working to resolve the issue as we are soon to start a project under the Swacch City banner and will install underground smart bins at 110 places in the city. Moreover, in the past, there had been a vast improvement and many stretches have been converted into green belts. We are working on cleaning other stretches too.” Also, the smart city project budget for the solid waste management has been allocated and we will come up with latest technology which will help us get rid of the garbage issues, he added.

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