Beetle spit stains on a corridor wall in the collectorate. (Prashant Mitra)
A spic and span collectorate may soon greet Ranchi residents.
The administration, after a three-year slumber, has woken up to the stench emanating from its biggest public office in the capital and roped in Namkum-based Kunal Cleaning Agency for the upkeep of its five-storied collectorate in Kutchery Chowk that had become a nightmare for its 1,000-odd workforce.
The swanky collectorate, built as an exclusive trouble-mitigation centre in 2009 with the offices of the deputy commissioner, deputy collectors, SDO, SSP and SP in it, started raising a stench within months of its inauguration.
With no cleaning agency in place, the building soon became a towering ordeal with stained staircases, stinking toilets and dank ceilings.
However, with a cleaning agency now in place for sanitation, the tantrum-throwing babus of the collectorate can now finally breathe more than a sigh of relief.
“Sarkari kaam koi nahi lena chahta hai aaj kal (These days nobody wants to take up government jobs),” a senior official of the district administration remarked when The Telegraph prodded him on the delay in issuing tenders for selecting an agency for the “simple” work.
He added that a number of complications, coupled with government red tape and corruption, had forced most of the good private players to stay away from the job.
Deputy commissioner Vinay Kumar Choubey said Kunal Cleaning Agency had been selected after a thorough tendering process, in which six local firms participated.
He added that the government had earlier tried and failed to rope in an agency. “It cannot be denied that the cleanliness system at the collectorate was in shambles. But with a new agency in place now, we expect things to change soon,” the DC said.
The Namkum firm has been selected on the basis of its vast experience and lowest bid quoted, administrative officials maintained. They added that the firm had earlier handled works in the income tax department and NRHM offices, among other places. “The agency has been selected on a yearly basis with the deputy commissioner having the power to terminate its services after a week’s notice if work is found to be unsatisfactory,” an official said.
Nazarath deputy collector Arabind Mishra who looks after the management of the building, maintained that the lack of funds had been one of the major deterrent that had stopped them from hiring a cleaning agency so far.
“What probably hurried the administration into roping an agency, however, might have been the phase two building — a replica of the current collectorate facility — that came up around two-months ago,” a source said.
The top two floors of the new collectorate building will be rented out to private offices or those of PSUs.
“State Bank of India and a couple of other institutions have expressed their willingness in taking the space on rent. The funds generated from them will help us in paying the agency,” Choubey said.
A senior official of the collectorate added that the officials were also planning to put in place a system for fining those found littering, spitting or smoking on the premises.
“The nitty-gritties of the fine system, like rates and offences to be penalised, are being worked out. We will implement it as soon as possible,” an official said.