A mound of garbage blocks the road at the vegetable market near Bata More in Dhanbad on Monday. Picture by Gautam Dey
A week after Dhanbad Municipal Corporation (DMC) finalised six private agencies to take care of sanitation in 33 wards of Dhanbad, Sindri and Chatatand circles, residents and councillors of Jharia and Katras have started clamouring that similar services be extended to their areas as well.
Although all five circles of Dhanbad district come under DMC, the 22 wards of Jharia and Katras are currently being served by another civic body, Mineral Area and Development Authority (Mada), which has its share of manpower and infrastructure woes.
Councillor of ward No. 37 of Jharia Anup Sao met DMC chief executive officer (CEO) Ashok Kumar Banka on Monday, claiming that Mada was not being able to do a good job, leaving most areas dirty and stinking. He urged the corporation to appoint NGOs or private agencies to clean the wards of Jharia town as well.
Councillor of ward No. 1 of Katras Vinod Goswami has raised similar demands.
“What is the logic behind entrusting the sanitation work of a densely populated area like Jharia town, which has more than 5 lakh people, to a body like Mada, which doesn’t have necessary facilities and is struggling for its own survival. Mada doesn’t have any tractor or earthmover to carry out garbage lifting work. As a result, all the main roads are witnessing perennial jam due to overflowing garbage from vats,” Sao said.
“We also want 11 wards of Katras circle to be outsourced to external agencies. If our demands are not fulfilled, we will be forced to launch a massive agitation in Katras as the sanitation situation here is very poor. Unattended garbage and uncleaned drains have led to an outbreak of diseases like malaria,” Goswami said.
CEO Banka said they were seriously considering the demands. “Two days ago, initial-level talks were held with urban development department secretary Ajay Kumar Singh for extending services of private agencies to Jharia and Katras circles as well” he said.
After A2Z withdrew from the Rs 55-crore solid waste management project of Dhanbad in January this year, DMC issued advertisements twice for appointment of other agencies to take over the sanitation job of 33 wards of Dhanbad, Sindri and Chatatand.
On August 5, six agencies were selected.
Dhanbad: The proposed strike by Mada employees from August 13 in demand for pending salary for three months was deferred after a meeting with the authorities at 2pm on Monday. Secretary of Mada Prasun Kumar Murmu promised to clear the salary before August 15. The employees have threatened to go on a strike from August 16 if they didn’t receive pay on time.