September 21, 2020

Agencies lose pay, garbage lies in heaps

Patna: Door-to-door garbage collection is not taking place in several wards of different circles in Patna as the agencies involved are not being paid following regular complaints.

The sanitation plan was inaugurated with much fanfare in the New Capital, Bankipore and Kankerbagh circles of Patna Municipal Corporation on public-private partnership mode on April 6, last year.

“The two agencies involved in door-to-door garbage collection have miserably failed in their duties,” Patna mayor Sita Sahu told The Telegraph. “As we were getting regular complaints, we stopped payment to them. The two agencies have since stopped garbage collection work.”

The mayor said talks are scheduled, on Monday, with one of the probable agencies to be hired by PMC for door-to-door garbage collection. “We hope something concrete will emerge,” she said. Sanitation staff of two private agencies – Patna-based Nishka Security and Intelligence Services, and Delhi-based People’s Association for Total Help and Youth Applause (Patheya) – were selected for the door-to-door garbage collection in Patna.

The two agencies were hired for a period of three years, with their contract coming to an end in 2020. They were supposed to blow the whistle in every area to inform residents they had arrived. But, this was rarely being done. Also, there was also a norm to impose a penalty ranging from Rs 1,000-5,000 on every case reported against the private agency, but this too was seldom applied.

At a meeting held earlier this week, Patna mayor Sita Sahu was apprised how door-to-door garbage was not being collected from many wards of different circles. The councillors also told the mayor that decisions taken five months back at the board’s meeting were yet to be implemented, hampering sanitation work in the city. The yet-to-be-implemented decisions include hiring more labourers for sanitation work and increasing the number of garbage handcarts. A decision to install bio-metric machines for staff is pending for the past five months.

Mayor Sahu told the councillors she would talk to the PMC commissioner in this regard to further strengthen the infrastructure.

With the agencies out of action, residents are grappling with non-lifting of garbage. Alka Sinha, a housewife from Ashok Nagar area in Kankarbagh, said they were forced to dump garbage 100m away as door-to-door garbage collection has stopped for the last 15 days. Residents had hoped better sanitation work with the launch of the paid service. But, now they are not even aware when the service will resume.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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