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Concern over poor garbage disposal system

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Sept 25 � Various organisations have expressed grave concern over the crumbling garbage collection and disposal system of the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) and called for urgent intervention of the Government to ensure some semblance of normalcy in the arrangement.

Uncleared garbage spilling over dustbins and littering large areas continues to be a common sight along most of the city roads and streets. The filth and stench apart, the situation is posing a serious health hazard to the citizens.

The Mahanagar Unnayan Samiti, Guwahati, in a statement, said that at the root of the city�s growing stink and filth was the total failure and unprofessional attitude of the GMC which was unable to discharge its basic responsibilities.

�The city is a veritable hell with all roads and bylanes besides the national highway emitting a nauseating stench from uncleared municipal solid waste. The GMC seems to have absolved itself of all responsibilities concerning garbage disposal following its MoU with the Ramki group which was entrusted with the job. There is no proper system to ensure timely and effective collection of garbage,� the Samiti said, adding that the arrangement of door-to-door collection, too, had come a cropper due to lack of professionalism.

The Samiti demanded that the GMC�s infrastructure be strengthened through induction of manpower and resources for keeping the hygiene of the city. It also said that a scientific garbage disposal system be put into place after engaging experts.

A couple of months back, the Pollution Control Board, Assam (PCBA) took note of the pollution caused by heaps of garbage on roadsides and recommended certain measures to the GMC to streamline the garbage collection system by having more dustbins and increasing the frequency of the collection. Regrettably, these recommendations mean nothing to the GMC � something testified to by the worsening garbage disposal scenario.

Public activist Prof Deven Dutta, while alleging that the Chief Minister � who is in charge of the Guwahati Development Department � had turned the city and the gateway to the North-east into a veritable hell, said that the tax-paying citizens were finding it hard to walk or move around the city without putting a handkerchief to their noses.

�The city�s situation is beyond description with heaps of uncleared garbage everywhere � on the roads, in the drains, on the footpaths and in the markets. The GMC has failed abysmally in maintaining the city�s hygiene and the Ramki group which it had engaged for garbage disposal is following in its footsteps,� Prof Dutta said, adding that the group�s act was tantamount to cheating the people.

Prof Dutta also alleged that a major reason behind the city�s worsening civic conditions was the Government�s uncalled-for preference to officers outside the State to head the GMC over the decades. He said that bereft of any knowledge about the State or of local sentiment, such officials were little bothered to resolve the problems of the city.

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