The Telegraph
Monday , July 28 , 2014
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Rural, civic absence affects cleaning

Siliguri, July 27: Absence of elected boards in the rural and urban bodies of Siliguri subdivision has led to a breakdown of conservancy and removal of piggeries in town at a time Japanese Encephalitis has taken the shape of an outbreak.

SMC commissioner S.W. Bhutia said no piggeries will be allowed in town and workers had been asked to tell the owners to remove the shelters.

The 47-ward civic body is running without a board since May 20 after mayor Gangotri Datta resigned and the board was dissolved. Bhutia, who is running SMC, said: “We have given our staff fogging machines, bleaching powder and MLO. Our workers are also catching pigs.”

But CPM leader Asok Bhattacharya said: “Garbage is piling up, no steps are taken to clear drains or accumulated water and pigs are roaming. The situation is bad. We are sprinkling bleaching powder and distributing leaflets. No such exercise has been carried out by the state, Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad or SMC, except for the occasional fogging.”

The three-tier SMP does not have elected boards too. The tenure of the SMP panchayats ended on July 15, panchayat samitis on July 16 and the SMP board term on July 21. Block extension officers and BDOs have taken charge of panchayats and samitis and Darjeeling district magistrate has taken charge of the SMP.

“The absence of pradhans, panchayat members, karmadhyakshas, sabhapatis, and sabhadhipatis has led to problems in implementing plans,” Rathindra Bose, the BJP president of Siliguri district, said.

Sujoy Ghatak, a former member mayor-in-council, said: “There is no one to monitor garbage disposal or relocation of piggeries. We have heard that the civic staff members are not listening to the councillors.”

A Trinamul councillor said: “There is no consistency in supply of bleaching powder in the wards.”

Minister Gautam Deb said: “The administration is dealing with the situation in Siliguri subdivision and the number of deaths and patients are low. Tomorrow, we will talk about the state of affairs in Darjeeling district and Siliguri subdivision.”