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Push for cleaning fleet

- Dhanbad civic body told to claim vehicles left by A2Z

Dhanbad Municipal Corporation (DMC) is going to make a fresh bid to take over the 100-plus cleaning vehicles that are gathering dust at the Bartand bus stand since A2Z Waste Management Pvt. Ltd took leave about six months ago.

The corporation has decided to again write to the private cleaning agency to transfer the ownership of the vehicles to it so that these can be used to clean the township, where heaps of unattended garbage at every nook and corner pose a constant threat of disease outbreak. If A2Z does not respond, it will move a higher court against the agency as the vehicles technically belong to DMC because it had provided the funds to purchase the fleet under the Rs 55-crore solid waste management project.

The strict stand has been prompted by Monday’s visit by urban development department secretary Ajay Singh, who instructed the corporation to initiate the process to take possession of the 10 compactors, 10 tractors, 60 goods carriers and 24 rickshaw carts lying idle at Bartand.

Singh, who conducted a review of sanitation and other works with DMC and Mineral Area Development Authority (Mada) officials, expressed dissatisfaction over the state of affairs across the district and instructed the two civic bodies to work in tandem to ensure cleanliness.

“We had written to A2Z authorities for transfer of vehicles earlier but the matter is pending for arbitration at Dhanbad civil court. We will again write to A2Z to ensure transfer of vehicles in our name,” said deputy administrator of DMC Siddharth Shankar Chaudhary.

The dispute arose after A2Z demanded return of the Rs 2.5 crore that it had deposited with the corporation before coming on board for the solid waste management project.

Dhanbad deputy commissioner Prashant Kumar, who was present at the review meeting along with DMC administrator B.P.L. Das and Mada managing director Ravindra Singh, said: “If the need arises, a case may be filed against A2Z at a higher court to secure possession of the vehicles.”

Urban development secretary Singh also asked DMC to provide a fresh estimate of vehicles needed for cleaning the 55 wards spread across five circles — Jharia, Dhanbad, Katras, Sindri and Chatatand. But at present, the corporation is responsible for cleanliness in only 33 wards in Dhanbad, Sindri and Chatabad because of manpower crunch. Mada looks after sanitation in Jharia and Katras circles.