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Blame, counter-blame compound citizens� woes

By Mamata mishra
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GUWAHATI, Nov 29 - Despite so much emphasis on cleanliness across the nation, irregular conservancy services continue to be a major problem for the people in many areas of Guwahati. Amid blames and counter-blames between NGOs engaged for the purpose and the authorities concerned, commoners� woes compound with no solution in sight.

Though the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) says that it will float fresh tenders next year for engaging NGOs, with some strict provisions to improve the services, the NGOs reiterate that the problem arises due to lack of infrastructure and paucity of funds.

The GMC has engaged NGOs in all the 31 wards of the city for door-to-door collection of garbage. The workers hired by the NGOs concerned are supposed to collect the garbage packets every day from the houses, against which every housing unit is charged Rs 30 per month. However, citizens in many areas of the city complain that despite paying for it, they are not getting proper service as the cleaning vehicles do not visit the lanes and bye-lanes in many areas of the city.

Blaming it on the GMC, the head of an NGO engaged for conservancy in Guwahati told The Assam Tribune that most of the NGOs are yet to receive the payments from the Corporation for the past four months.

�This is the fifth month running and we are yet to receive the payment for the work done so far, which is affecting our day-to-day functioning. Other than paying the workers, repair of the vehicles and handcarts given to the NGOs is also affecting the work,� he stated.

�We are held responsible for irregular cleaning work, but the hydraulic tippers and carts etc., given to us are inadequate considering the number of households we cover. Though in my ward we are supposed to cover 6,600 houses, the number actually goes beyond ten thousand in the absence of any fresh survey. Moreover, buildings having many renters pay only Rs 30. At times our collection staff have to face problems due to this,� said an NGO member, adding that the inadequate and substandard handcarts are a major issue for the NGOs.

Guwahati Mayor Mrigen Saraniya, however, ruled out four months� delay in payment. �Payment is pending since September due to various reasons. Moreover, many of the NGOs are yet to deposit their monthly collections at the GMC. Even if some citizens are reluctant to pay in time, at least 80 per cent of the collection should be given to the Corporation in time,� he added.

�The three-year contract given to the NGOs is expiring in July 2017. But, we are planning to float fresh tenders in February-March next year so that the new contract, with some revised and strict clauses, is applicable from August 1 next year,� he said, adding that as per the contract maintenance of the vehicles is the responsibility of the NGOs.

Acknowledging the problem of the citizens, he said that the Corporation also receives complaints like NGO staff covering only the houses along the main roads and charging extra money for cleaning the waste after functions, pujas etc.

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Blame, counter-blame compound citizens� woes

GUWAHATI, Nov 29 - Despite so much emphasis on cleanliness across the nation, irregular conservancy services continue to be a major problem for the people in many areas of Guwahati. Amid blames and counter-blames between NGOs engaged for the purpose and the authorities concerned, commoners� woes compound with no solution in sight.

Though the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) says that it will float fresh tenders next year for engaging NGOs, with some strict provisions to improve the services, the NGOs reiterate that the problem arises due to lack of infrastructure and paucity of funds.

The GMC has engaged NGOs in all the 31 wards of the city for door-to-door collection of garbage. The workers hired by the NGOs concerned are supposed to collect the garbage packets every day from the houses, against which every housing unit is charged Rs 30 per month. However, citizens in many areas of the city complain that despite paying for it, they are not getting proper service as the cleaning vehicles do not visit the lanes and bye-lanes in many areas of the city.

Blaming it on the GMC, the head of an NGO engaged for conservancy in Guwahati told The Assam Tribune that most of the NGOs are yet to receive the payments from the Corporation for the past four months.

�This is the fifth month running and we are yet to receive the payment for the work done so far, which is affecting our day-to-day functioning. Other than paying the workers, repair of the vehicles and handcarts given to the NGOs is also affecting the work,� he stated.

�We are held responsible for irregular cleaning work, but the hydraulic tippers and carts etc., given to us are inadequate considering the number of households we cover. Though in my ward we are supposed to cover 6,600 houses, the number actually goes beyond ten thousand in the absence of any fresh survey. Moreover, buildings having many renters pay only Rs 30. At times our collection staff have to face problems due to this,� said an NGO member, adding that the inadequate and substandard handcarts are a major issue for the NGOs.

Guwahati Mayor Mrigen Saraniya, however, ruled out four months� delay in payment. �Payment is pending since September due to various reasons. Moreover, many of the NGOs are yet to deposit their monthly collections at the GMC. Even if some citizens are reluctant to pay in time, at least 80 per cent of the collection should be given to the Corporation in time,� he added.

�The three-year contract given to the NGOs is expiring in July 2017. But, we are planning to float fresh tenders in February-March next year so that the new contract, with some revised and strict clauses, is applicable from August 1 next year,� he said, adding that as per the contract maintenance of the vehicles is the responsibility of the NGOs.

Acknowledging the problem of the citizens, he said that the Corporation also receives complaints like NGO staff covering only the houses along the main roads and charging extra money for cleaning the waste after functions, pujas etc.

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