A TOI reality check revealed that the prabhags the mayor, his deputy, the standing committee chairman, leader of the Opposition and even a BJP legislator represented in the civic body were littered with garbage since the past few days.
Less than a kilometre from mayor Ashok Murtadak’s house, garbage could be seen everywhere – at the open spaces and along the road. Deputy mayor Gurmeet Bagga’s prabhag has the same story to share – garbage lying unattended to in empty spaces, inside colonies and also on the main road, a treat for the tens of cattleheads and a nuisance for hundreds of citizens.
Radhe Shyam, a shopkeeper in prabhag 8, complained that garbage vans visited the locality but did not up pick up the litter along the road and from open spaces. “People are also to be blamed as they dump their waste in the afternoon also even as the van comes in the morning,” he said.
Shanta Kardile, another resident said, “Many residents don’t hand over the waste in time to the garbage vans and dump the waste wherever they feel like in the middle of the night.”
The mayor was neither available for comments nor did he reply to the TOI reporter’s text messages till going to the press.
Bagga, however, claimed that his prabhag was “quite clean” but blamed the people for dumping waste after the garbage vans left.
“During Wednesday’s general body meeting, we will discuss a proposal of buying new garbage vans.”
A few metres ahead of BJP MLA Devyani Pharande’s house in the upscale Gangapur Road area, litter on the roadside is lying unattended since many days.
Standing committee chairman Shivaji Chumble admitted to some loopholes in the garbage collecting system in the city, including in his prabhag.
“The contractor did not get the work done properly by his workers. he also did not maintain the garbage vans that are very old. We have decided that the new contractor should buy new garbage vans and also maintain those. The fate of the NMC’s garbage vans being used at present will be decided later by the municipal commissioner and the mayor. We are also short of staff and the government has not yet approved fresh recruitment. We are short of over 1,500 employees,” said Chumble.
The agreement with the garbage van collection gets over on December 7, but the NMC is yet to float tenders for a new contract.