A woman covers her nose while riding past an uncleared garbage dumping ground in Kharagpur. Picture by Samir Mondal
Kharagpur, Oct. 3: Piled-up garbage and overflowing drains greet residents of the Kharagpur municipality area as civic services have stopped after a no-confidence motion was passed against the Trinamul chairman.
Calcutta High Court has ruled that the chairman can no longer remain in office after his defeat in the no-confidence vote.
The high court on September 24 asked Jawaharlal Pal to immediately hand over charge to vice-chairman Tushar Chowdhury.
Accordingly, Chowdhury took over charge on September 28.
Official sources said the Trinamul Congress-led Kharagpur municipality board had lost a no-confidence motion by a margin of 16 votes on August 27. The Trinamul councillors took up the matter with the municipal affairs department on September 1, questioning the validity of the motion.
The municipal affairs department had sent a directive to chairman Jawaharlal Pal on September 5, to continue till they could get the views of the lawyers. The Congress moved Calcutta High Court on September 10 challenging the municipal affairs department’s directive.
“It is no matter whether the board would be run by the Trinamul or the Congress, the residents are the worst sufferers said Swapan Banerjee, a retired government employee, who resides in ward 34 from where Pal is the councillor.
“There is a vat just behind the Talbagicha market. The garbage has been piling up for the past fortnight. The stench is unbearable. The plastic carry bags are strewn over the road leading to a school,” the 62-year old Banerjee said.
CPI councillor from ward 3 Taimur Ali Khan said that he was facing the public wrath as almost all the streetlights were non-functioning. “It appears they are not being maintained properly,” Khan said.
“There is tremendous pressure to change the defective lights before the festive season and carry out necessary repairs. But I am helpless, even though I have funds. The member of the chairman-in-council concerned is the only authorised person to decide which contractor would be assigned the job. But he himself is not sure if he would remain in the post,” Khan said.
Opposition leader in the municipality Ravi Shankar Pandey of Congress said that Pal had been more concerned about his chair that rendering service to the residents.
Jawaharlal Pal, however, stated: “It is true that there is a kind stalemate prevailing in the municipality. I shall ask my councillors to take special care of the conservancy services.”