|The delay in putting a new solid waste management system in place in Hubballi-Dharwad led to a prolonged debate at the monthly council meeting of the Municipal Corporation here on Monday after which the Municipal Commissioner Siddalingayya Hiremath promised to put the new set-up in place by March 15.|
Raising the issue through a calling attention motion, former Mayor Viranna Savadi sought to know why there had been a delay in putting the new system in place despite being authorised to do so.
Other council members also took exception to the delay and accused the officials of being lethargic, because of which, they said, they were being accosted by the residents during their ward visits.
Some of the members also raised the issue of delay in appointment of civic workers (pourakarmikas) on contract basis and sought to know what had prevented the officials from going ahead with the process, at a time when the earlier contract was to expire on February 28.
Responding to their questions, the Municipal Commissioner said that the municipal corporation had already given work order for supply of 117 auto tippers for transportation of solid waste and there was no hurdle in getting more vehicles as per requirement.
He informed the council that they were in need of 15 to 20 compactors under the solid waste management scheme and already work orders had been issued for procuring them. “Apart from vehicles, we need various civil works to be undertaken under the scheme. Already work orders have been issued for taking up civil works worth Rs. 20 crore. These works include setting up compost units and other units.” He assured the council that they would put in place the new set-up by March 15.
On Mr. Savadi’s question about delay in floating tender for taking up works in wards under General Fund of the municipal corporation, Mr. Hiremath clarified that the process was put on hold as the municipal corporation faced funds crunch because of utilising the General Fund for payment of pension to the retired employees. “Now the issue has been resolved and the Directorate of Municipal Administration has issued order for release of Rs. 21 crore. We are expecting that it will be released shortly”, he said.
However the council members took exception to it and urged him to begin the process immediately. Meanwhile former Opposition leader Ganesh Tagargunti (Congress) assured the council of getting the funds released by taking a delegation led by MLA Prasad Abbayya to meet the concerned.
The discussion on calling attention motion also highlighted lack of development in villages under the municipal corporation limits and councillors demanded utilisation of the funds earmarked for the purpose in the council budget. The discussion concluded with the Mayor issuing a ruling that he would convene an all-party meeting on the issue for initiation of development works in villages attached to the municipal corporation.