The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Battlelines drawn over litter piles
- Former civic employee leads residents’ drive to block garbage dumping

Litter has been piling up in Lake Town, Kalindi, Sreebhumi and other areas under the South Dum Dum Municipality for the past four days. The civic body is facing stiff resistance in dumping garbage at the Promodnagar dumping ground from some CPM functionaries, led by former civic employee Tarini Goswami.

Goswami, who is the local committee secretary of the CPM in Promodnagar, wrote to municipal chairman Sreehir Bhattacharjee on May 27, urging him not to dump litter in the area “in the interest of the common people”. From May 30, Goswami and his men started preventing the civic staff from dumping garbage at the site.

“We are really facing a tough time. Some residents of Promodnagar had earlier requested us not to dump litter there. Now, they are forcibly preventing us from unloading truckloads of garbage. Promodnagar was earmarked as a dumping site by both the state government and the civic authorities and the sudden disruption in services has put us in a spot,” Bhattacharjee said on Monday.

The municipal chairman described the move as “an irresponsible act” on the part of the CPM leader. “I will discuss the matter with the government and the higher level of our party, too.”

In his letter to the chairman, Goswami has stated that “the image of our party (CPM) is being hampered, as the civic body is constantly unloading garbage at Promodnagar without caring for the interests of the local people. A number of residential complexes have come up around Promodnagar. The residents are complaining to me regularly and if we don’t pay any heed to their complaints, they might revolt any day.”

Goswami, when contacted, said that the refugee rehabilitation department of the state government had shifted about 160 families, which used to live in the Chitpur railway yard, during the construction of the Circular Railway in 1988. “The civic body has been dumping garbage at Promodnagar since 1988. But it was a temporary arrangement, and in 1988, it was decided that the civic body would find a suitable location for removing the refuse. But nothing has been done so far. I have requested the chairman to look for an alternative site. The people had earlier prevented the civic staff from unloading garbage in the area. This time they are doing the same,” Goswami claimed.

Sources in the civic body, however, said that Goswami is instigating the people to thwart the civic body’s garbage removal activities. “He was an accountant in the municipality and was granted an extension of three months after his retirement. He wanted another extension but was denied it. Now, he is trying to malign the civic authorities,” a senior civic body official said. Goswami refused to buy the argument. “They (the civic authorities) had given me an extension in their own interest. I was never keen on getting another,” he said.

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