Stinking garbage heaps in run-up to Durga Puja!
By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Sept 19: The run-up to the Durga Puja in Guwahati, touted to be an environment-friendly celebration, is plagued by the age-old problem of improper garbage disposal.
The Viswakarma Puja is over, leaving the idols of the year before and puja materials as garbage in the city. GMC officials have been out to search such idols. However, the fact remains that still such idols are seen in the city. This is in addition to the irregular garbage disposal by Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC). Garbage is seen almost everywhere in the city even on Tuesday when the alarm bell of the Durga Puja was rung with the spell of Mahalaya mantras.
According to GMC sources, with the contract term of garbage disposal work given to 31 NGOs in as many wards in the city being termited recently, the work has been entrusted to new NGOs. As many as 48 NGOs have got the contract and the process for giving such contracts to ten other NGOs is going on. However, they are still to be au fait with the work they have been entrusted with. GMC sources said that the NGOs are taking stock of the type of works they are going to do, and they will be delivering goods within a week or so. The civic body is going to provide three-wheeler vehicles to be used to lift garbage from various areas in the city. However, the NGOs will have to engage labourers and hand carts on their own. According to GMC sources, most of the NGOs want to cover commercial areas where they do not have to go door to door. In residential areas, mostly in hills, they have to trek hills to collect garbage, and as such they are not interested in such areas, the sources said, and added that NGOs for Hengrabari, Kahilipara etc., are still in the tendering process, and the reason is not far to seek.
The civic body is always at the receiving end wherever there is any delay or improper lifting of garbage. However, a section of officials in the GMC wants to say that lack of civic sense on the part of the city dwellers also adds to the problem. According to the standing norms, solid and liquid waste should be kept separated, but most of the city residents do not keep them separately, they said, and added that the norm for fee against per kitchen in the event of rented houses is also being flouted, often with the help of house owners.