|Littered Line Tank Road, Ranchi, is an eyesore on Tuesday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
Ranchi’s beleaguered civic guardian, strapped of ideas and resources, has decided to turn to residents for suggestions on how to keep the city clean and green.
Deputy administrator of RMC S.K. Lal will convene the maiden “consultation meet” with citizens and stakeholders at the civic body’s headquarters on Wednesday. The nearly four-hour gathering from 2.30pm will be organised in association with the Institute of Human Development and the All India Kabadi Mazdoor Mahasangh.
“People’s participation is always known to be productive. So when NGOs approached us with the idea, we readily agreed. This meeting will help us devise garbage control plans,” Lal said.
Speaking to The Telegraph, Subir Das, a resident of HB Road, said the biggest problem in Ranchi was the lack of civic sense among its citizens. “Unless this issue is addressed by means of awareness campaigns or strict enforcement and penalties, things will not change,” he added.
Two years ago, the RMC had hired a private agency — A2Z Waste Management Limited — with the objective of planned and proper waste disposal. However, internal bickering, non-timely and inadequate flow of funds and bureaucratic red-tape have together crippled the effort. And, Ranchi still brings to mind ugly images of stinking garbage.
Now, with Durga Puja on the threshold, the private agency has promised to tidy up the capital, engaging extra hands round the clock. But, there is no guarantee that clean roads and neighbourhoods will be a permanent reality in the city. Hence, the urgency of Wednesday’s meeting.
A senior RMC official further maintained that interests of sanitation workers are often not addressed and the meeting will delve on such issues too.
“Generally, the task force engaged in garbage collection, disposal and allied activities are hired on contract basis and are paid paltry wages. Their work conditions are equally pathetic. They are exposed to biological and chemical contamination in the absence of gloves, helmets, shoes and similar mandatory gear. If your human resource isn’t taken care of, the work they do won’t meet required standards,” he said.
“Ranchi needs two things immediately — a proper mechanism to dispose of waste and security for the workforce,” he added.
Incidentally, a plan to set up a solid waste management plant in Jhiri, on the outskirts of Ranchi, has been hanging fire for two years. Officials of A2Z, which has been entrusted with the responsibility, claimed the project was likely to kick off by the end of this year.
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