| Stink crackdown |
The government has given Patna Municipal Corporation two months to implement the solid waste management project, the funds of which were lying unused as fixed deposit in a bank for the past six years.
Urban development and housing minister Samrat Choudhary told The Telegraph that instructions have been issued to the PMC to complete the formalities and start the seven-year project within the deadline.
The Telegraph on July 15 reported how the amount of Rs 36.95 crore sanctioned for the project to clean garbage from the city streets was accruing interest to the tune of Rs 12.44 crore.
Choudhary said: “It is strange that the project has not taken off even after so many years. The city is in a mess because of garbage being dumped at different spots. Instructions have been given to the PMC to start the project in two months. They must do whatever is necessary to start the project by September-end or early October. If it does not happen, the department would initiate action against everyone responsible for delaying the project, including senior civic body officials and the commissioner. The commissioner must ensure that the project becomes functional as soon as possible.”
The Patna Solid Waste Management project under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission was approved on March 28, 2007. It includes door-to-door collection of garbage, putting public bins and supplying municipal equipment, including tippers and compactors, to cart away garbage from the streets.
The PMC board had approved the project on September 21 last year. The tenders were floated in October.
“It has been a long time. So, it is important that the PMC is given a deadline to start the project,” Choudhary added.
Although the minister made it clear that any more delay in the project was unacceptable, PMC officials claimed it would still need some time to start.
“There were problems in the tender process. The pre-bid meeting was held on November 22-23 last year. No party was interested and fresh tenders were floated this February. The same thing happened again. The financial and technical bid for the purchase of equipment was completed last week. Now, there would be a pre-bid meeting and a company would be selected for the supply of equipment. However, the tender process for the door-to-door collection of waste is still to be done. The PMC would outsource this job to an agency. This bidding process is on. So, it will take some more time for the project to start,” said a civic body official.
The residents are not impressed.
“We have heard about the project. It is strange that even after so many years, the project has not materialised. Patna has become a waste dump and heap of garbage is seen everywhere. It gets worse during the monsoon. The PMC should immediately take steps to start the project and keep the city clean — their most important job,” Kankerbagh resident Ravi Kumar said.