Garbage clogs a drain at East Bengal Colony in Sitaramdera on Wednesday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
Jamshedpureans can keep their fingers crossed and pray that they be spared the perils of waterlogged streets, overflowing drains and dirty pavements this monsoon.
Although a bit late, the local administration has finally woken up to the need to spruce up civic amenities like clogged drains before rains set in and issued directives to all civic bodies — Jamshedpur Notified Area Committee (JNAC), Jugsalai Municipality and Mango Notified Area Committee (MNAC) — on Tuesday to get started on the job.
Jamshedpur has around 40 big drains and nearly 150 small ones. Of the 40, 14 come under JNAC, 11 under MNAC and Jugsalai Muncipality while the remaining 15 are maintained by private companies, mainly Tata Steel.
Acting on the order sent by East Singhbhum deputy commissioner Amitabh Kaushal, JNAC on Wednesday chalked out strategy to clean big and small drains before June 15, when monsoon is likely to hit Jharkhand.
The urban body, which is facing an acute manpower crunch, has decided to outsource the job of cleaning big drains — having a depth of more than four feet — to private parties while smaller ones will be cleaned by its staff.
“Today (Wednesday), we floated a tender for hiring an agency that will clean 14 big drains by June 15. We hope to have the company on board latest by May 31. Letters have also been sent to companies (mainly Jusco that looks after civic utilities in Tata Steel areas) for cleaning the drains in their townships before monsoon,” said Jamshedpur Notified Area Committee (JNAC) special officer Dipak Sahay.
An inspection will be carried out after June 15.
The civic body has also drawn up a roster to clean up small drains in the steel city.
“We have 70 cleaners on our pay roll and have hired more 20 to clean small drains on a regular basis. We will be preparing a roster on the basis of which the staff will be cleaning the drains of particular areas. Sanitary inspectors will keep an eye on them,” Sahay added.
The tender process for cleaning 11 drains under Jugsalai Municipality and MNAC also started on Wednesday. “The cleaning exercise will begin on June 4 and completed by June 15,” said special officer Jagadish Yadav, who is holding dual charges of MNAC and Jugsalai Municipality.
But residents feel that the administration should have acted much before as some of these civic outlets will require de-silting and dredging.
“I think that the initiative has come late. Cleaning work should have begun from mid-April. May be, the administration had its hands full with the Lok Sabha election process” said Satnam Singh Gambhir, a resident of Refugee Colony in Sakchi, which witnesses frequent waterlogging.