Councillors protest at Randhir Verma Chowk in Dhanbad on Saturday. Picture by Gautam Dey
Dhanbad, May 24: Ward councillors today staged a demonstration at Randhir Verma Chowk in Dhanbad to protest against the civic body’s failure to keep the township clean and provide basic amenities to residents.
The protestors burnt effigies of mayor Indu Singh and corporation’s administrator B.P.L. Das before submitting a memorandum to deputy commissioner Prashant Kumar in this regard.
The councillors warned of an indefinite strike from June 10 if their eight demands were not met by the end of this month.
Their demands included regular cleanliness drives in all 55 wards under the Dhanbad municipal area, unclogging drains, maintaining public toilets, repairing hand pumps, removing defunct streetlights and regularising services of daily labourers.
Over a dozen councillors and their supporters assembled at Randhir Verma Chowk around 10.30am and demonstrated for around over an hour. Later, they marched towards the deputy commissioner’s office around noon and submitted a memorandum to the DC.
The councillors said mayor Indu Singh and deputy mayor Neeraj Singh had not taken any step in the last three-and-a-half years to keep the city clean and provide basic amenities to the people.
Councillor of the ward No. 14 Ranjit Kumar said he was facing the ire of residents of his area because of poor civic facilities.
“Tonnes of filth litters the streets in my ward with slush and stink haunting the residents. The situation is no different in other areas. Mammoth mounds of garbage have piled up across the township,” he said, adding that their repeated pleas for cleanliness drives had fallen on deaf ears.
“If our demands are not met by May 28, we will protest again. We will close the gates of the corporation on June 4 and launch an indefinite strike from June 10,” the councillor said.
When contacted, B.P.L. Das, who is also holds post of the additional collector (law and order), put the ball in the mayor’s court, saying he could only follow the orders given by the elected members of the corporation.
“Decisions regarding civic amenities in all 55 wards are to be taken by the mayor and the deputy mayor. We (the corporation officials) only implement the work,” he explained.
However, Das claimed as far as cleanliness drive was concerned, he had asked the elected members to talk to coal companies for space to dump garbage, but to no avail.
The mayor could not be contacted for comments despite repeated attempts.