Ranchiites and Jamshedpureans might be fretting over the sweltering heat, but the scorching sun is just one among many problems for their Dhanbad counterparts. Paucity of funds and manpower crunch have paralysed cleanliness in and around the coal town, with mounds of uncollected garbage lying all around.
While Dhanbad Municipal Corporation is struggling to keep its command area clean, the situation is worse in Jharia, Katras, Chatatand and Sindri, which fall under Mineral Area Development Authority (MADA).
Sources from Dhanbad Municipal Corporation revealed that lack of adequate manpower and equipment was responsible for the poor state of sanitation.
Currently, the civic body has only 125 labourers who are faced with the Herculean task of collecting over 425 tonnes of solid waste daily. During a meeting on May 26, authorities of Dhanbad Municipal Corporation had decided to appoint 150 more labourers for a period of three months.
On June 3, it also issued a notice inviting private agencies to supply manpower for the sanitation work.
The areas under Mada are suffering most. In some wards, tractors to collect garbage are lying unused, as the civic body is unable to pay fuel expenses.
Expressing disgust over the situation, councillor of ward No. 1 Vinod Goswami said: “Our area in Katras is littered with garbage. We have tractors to collect solid waste. But, owing to funds crunch, Mada cannot pay for diesel required to run the vehicles.”
The councillor said the municipal corporation should fund Mada at the earliest.
“If steps to clean streets and drains are not taken before the arrival of the rains, diseases like malaria will break out,” said Goswami.
Councillor of ward No. 20 Imtiyaz Khan agreed. “The festival of Shab-e-barat is round the corner, but the civic body has taken no steps to clean the streets of Wasseypur,” he added.
Khan also criticised the decision to outsource cleanliness to a private agency. “Contract workers should be paid at the earliest. A decision in this regard was taken at the same meeting where authorities planned to outsource cleanliness. However, the workers are yet to get their pay, while notice for hiring an agency has come out,” he said.
Councillor of ward No. 37 Anup Sao pointed out how inadequate equipment was hindering sanitation work in Jharia. “Dhanbad Municipal Corporation recently provided two tractors to Mada. But, we still lack earthmovers and payloaders. Had these been there, situation would have been better in Jharia.