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When sting operation raises a stink

- Manipur Trinamul MLA claims proof of posh people dumping waste on city streets

Imphal, March 3: A sting operation by Manipur’s lone Trinamul Congress MLA Laisom Ibomcha Singh is emanating a stink.

Ibomcha Singh claimed in the Assembly today that his findings revealed that mostly educated, employed and upper middle class people were dumping garbage at all the wrong places. “I deployed five photographers to take pictures of those who dumped garbage at wrong places in the town. I spent Rs 50,000 on the operation. I have all the photographs of the intellectuals and doctors, who know that disposing of garbage in this manner causes health hazards in the city,” Ibomcha Singh said, waving photographs.

The photographers found engineers, advocates, doctors, politicians and grade I government officers on their way to work in Imphal throwing out the garbage from the window of their cars anywhere they chose.

The MLA said they do not have any designated garbage dumps since they live on the outskirts of the city.

The banks of the Nambul river are a favourite dumping ground for these residents.

Ibomcha Singh represents Keishamthong constituency and resides near the Nambul river, which passes through the town. The Nambul river and its banks are “favourite” dumping sites for the residents of Imphal.

“No law can prevent these people from throwing waste. The only means is to deploy police personnel in civvies to catch them and punish them. Until and unless this is done this menace will continue,” Ibomcha Singh said.

Responding to the discussion, leader of the House, Okram Ibobi Singh, admitted that disposing of waste by residents of Imphal in a wrongful manner was a serious problem.

“The Imphal Municipal Council cannot cope with this problem. Sending out flying squads to catch the offenders is one of the options,” Ibobi Singh told the House.

He said Imphal alone produced 100 metric tonnes of solid waste daily and these were dumped at the temporary dumping site at Lamphel in Imphal West district.

Ibobi Singh assured the House that he would convene a meeting of ministers and MLAs from the seven Assembly constituencies within the Imphal municipal limit to discuss the problem of garbage disposal by residents and also to chalk out a strategy to check them. “Outsiders think Imphal is not the capital town when they see it because of garbage accumulation. We need to do something urgently to clean up the town. People residing nearby throw garbage into the Nambul river. This needs to be stopped,” Ibobi Singh said.