Jamshedpur, Feb. 11: A nauseating stench greets people as they enter Jugsalai.
A look around reveals overflowing drains and mounds of accumulated garbage strewn across dirty and broken roads.
With shortage of civic workers, Jugsalai residents have been left to the mercy of private labourers to clean up the locality. The problem can be traced to the paucity of cleaning staff in Jugsalai municipality.
The municipality has only 53 cleaning staff on its rolls against 143 sanctioned posts.
When this correspondent visited the municipality office, she found that several office staff were on leave at the same time. Garbage was strewn all around the municipality office as well.
“There is an acute shortage of staff in the office. For more than two decades, no appointment has been made to fill up the sanctioned posts. If the condition persists, the day is not far away when hardly 10 to 20 staff would be left on the rolls to serve over 50,000 residents of the area,” said a municipal official, on condition of anonymity.
People have started taking help of private labourers and NGO to get the garbage removed. “We are taking help of Samarpan, a local NGO, to get the locality cleaned. But the NGO is working in selective parts of Jugsalai. Other areas remain in the same state,” said Prabhat Chaturvedi, a resident of Jugsalai.
Moreover, residents complain about middlemen operating in the municipality. “Middlemen are very active in the municipality. We face a lot of problem to deposit our municipal taxes. Most of the staff manning the counters are not qualified enough and do not have sufficient information. People, who go through the middlemen, get their work done easily by greasing their palms. But those who come by themselves have to face immense trouble,” added Chaturvedi.
Work of collection of taxes like holding tax, professional tax, water tax is being done by conservancy labourers, which is supposed to be done by office staff. “We do not have any other option. Considering the population of Jugsalai, we do not have sufficient staff to collect the taxes,” said a staff.