The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Monitor rises from mess
- Eureka! Buddha has discovered the garbage dump that is Calcutta, post-rains

'Kichhu ekta korun' Shohortake janjal mukto korun' Ektu shobuj korun'. Shobaike kaje lagan (Do something' Clear the city of garbage' Make it green' Get everyone to work).'

The prod from chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, at a meeting last week with urban development minister Asok Bhattacharya and senior officials, has finally prompted the municipal affairs department to open its eyes to the eyesore and prepare an action plan for scientific solid-waste management.

Officers attached to the chief minister's secretariat said on Wednesday that Bhattacharjee was offended by the sight of garbage dumps in several parts of the city.

He had, in fact, expressed himself 'quite forcefully' to the mayor and his Cabinet colleagues about the garbage mounds at Maniktala, Bidhan Sarani, Hatibagan, Metiabruz, Kalighat, on Ballygunge Circular Road and even on Palm Avenue, where he lives.

'The chief minister told them he had seen school-going children passing such dumps holding handkerchiefs to their noses,' an official said.

Bhattacharjee had also mentioned how filthy the suburbs of Kamarhati, Barrackpore, Shibpur and Budge Budge were.

'The chief minister last month called up transport minister Subhas Chakraborty, environment minister Manab Mukherjee and urban development minister Bhattacharya, urging them to take effective steps to keep the city and its suburbs clean and green,' said officials.

This apart, complaints of irregular clearance of garbage and improper transportation, and garbage dumped in hospital compounds and near educational institutions, have reached the chief minister's office.

Now, a committee called Solid Waste Management Mission, headed by chief secretary Amit Kiran Deb, has been formed to monitor the mess.

'The move is aimed at introducing a system of solid-waste management. The schemes the panel will draw up will be implemented in a systematic manner,' said the municipal affairs minister.

According to the municipal affairs department, the government is getting around Rs 100 crore from the Japan Bank of International Cooperation and on the 12th Pay Commission's recommendations for solid-waste management.

Funds are also expected from France and the Asian Development Bank.

'The chief minister has called for an environment-friendly city' We do not want to see garbage lying around, overflowing from vats or dumped near hospitals and schools any more,' asserted chief secretary Deb.

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