SILCHAR, Nov 9 - Silchar, the second biggest urban sprawl in the State is enmeshed in a plethora of civic woes. Along with the perennial problem of waterlogged roads and erratic load shedding, the denizens of the city are combating with the menace of garbage littered across most parts of the city.
Even as the Swachha Bharat campaign triggered handsome response bringing people out of their homes to keep their surroundings clean, the efforts were largely patchy. It may be mentioned that Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, in his recent visit to the city zeroed in on the sick and filthy condition of the city and urged the administration to chalk out a plan to make Silchar beautiful. Following the observation, the District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) Cachar and Silchar Municipal Board, recently launched the much awaited �door-to-door� garbage collection and removal programme under the Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000 to turn the city into a clean, green and congenial place for living.
Deputy Commissioner of Cachar, S Vishwanathan inaugurated the programme by doing bhumi pujan at the premises of the civic board and paid floral tributes at the altar of the Language martyrs at Gandhi Bag. Later, the Deputy Commisioner along with vice-chairperson of the board, Chameli Paul and other officials were seen pulling waste bins in an awareness rally which moved through Central Road to reach Park Road to collect wastes from the households.
�This has been a much-awaited programme and we want to involve the people in carrying this mission to keep the city clean forward. There will be usage charges for this daily garbage collection. There will be engineers assigned to monitor the process. People must realise that it is their city and onus to keep the city clean is on them,� Vishwanathan said. He was quick to add that when people living in bigger cities like Kolkata and Bangalore have set examples of clean surroundings, people of this small yet expanding city in Assam must also gear up for the challenge. �Unlike bigger cities with much larger population, it is easy to keep smaller cities clean,� the Deputy Commisioner maintained. He lauded the efforts taken by NN Tagore, chairman of the civic board in shaping up the programme.
Rs 50 will be charged per month from each household (including those living in rented accommodations), small shops will have to pay Rs 100 and bigger commercial establishments will be charged Rs 250 on a monthly basis for availing the facility. The charges are mandatory and everyone must comply with the fees, the Deputy Commisioner said.
Rajib Roy, Additional Deputy Commisioner informed that to redress the complaints from the public, a Whatsapp number will be made available soon. �Through Whatsapp, people can inform us about the garbage clearance. Also, they can shoot pictures and send us of places piled up with trash,� Roy said.
Chameli Paul urged the people to step up to cooperate with the administration in keeping the city clean. �We cannot do anything unless the city dwellers realise their responsibility,� she said.
Suryauday from Guwahati along with local NGOs Neogenesys and Shefali Enterprise have been entrusted with the task of manning the resources for collection and disposal of garbage from the 28 wards within the Silchar Municipal area, which have been divided in 8 zones. Ward number 5 has been left out of the scheme for now since the concerned NGO has opted out of the programme.