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Monday, December 06, 2021

The BJP councillor who never fought against Dadumajra dumping ground

Residents of her ward suffered but she remained focused on her fight with Kalia. The two never shied away from fighting in the open.

Written by Hina Rohtaki | Chandigarh |
October 26, 2021 5:56:05 am
Her efforts within the party bore fruit when in the concluding year of her term, she was chosen as the candidate for deputy mayor and she won. Today Farmila may be the Deputy Mayor but it isn’t of use in her own ward as there is nothing which she has done, the residents allege.

The tenure of BJP councillor Farmila, who represents ward no. 6 comprising Dadumajra, Dadumajra Colony and Shahpur Colony, will be known for her never-ending war with fellow councillor Rajesh Kalia and a few controversies.

Her ward houses the city’s sole dumping ground, something that is said to be a blot for the city.
Residents of her ward suffered but she remained focused on her fight with Kalia. The two never shied away from fighting in the open.

When in 2019, Kalia was being chosen as the mayoral candidate, Farmila had openly opposed him. She was one of the four SC candidates in the race for the mayoral post. After Kalia was declared the official candidate, she had thrown her weight behind rebel candidate Satish Kainth and even signed his nomination letter as a seconder. However, the BJP managed to get an undertaking from Farmila, which stated that “it was out of emotions” that she signed on Kainth’s nomination, but she would support the official candidatatue of Kalia.

However, the war between both didn’t end.

In February 2019, when the then mayor Kalia was presiding over an event in her ward, she had allegedly tried to attack him by throwing the mic at him during a public function at Shahpur Colony near Dadu Majra. While Kalia had alleged that Farmila tried to hit him and also used derogatory language against him, Farmila had denied the allegation and said that she just snatched the mic from the then mayor as he was using “insulting language” in his speech. Both had then lodged their complaints against each other with the then city BJP president Sanjay Tandon and party incharge Dinesh Kumar.

Her efforts within the party bore fruit when in the concluding year of her term, she was chosen as the candidate for deputy mayor and she won. Today Farmila may be the Deputy Mayor but it isn’t of use in her own ward as there is nothing which she has done, the residents allege.

Dyal Krishan, president of Dadumajra Dumping Ground Joint Action Committee, said that all these five years, Farmila was not available for the people even during COVID period when they needed her the most.
“No development work has been done by the councillor in Dadu Majra Colony, whether it is to provide ration to the people during the corona period or to raise any issue in the Municipal Corporation on the maintenance of the dumping ground. After taking out the sewer line in Dadu Majra Colony, its level was not completely repaired. The paver blocks were installed but still water stagnates at places and even goes inside residents’ houses,” Dyal Krishan said.

He added, “Many streets and roads still have potholes and the condition of the parks is very pathetic. Here there was only one place for children to play, the Theme Park, and it is sad to say that even this has been converted into a dumping ground sanitary landfill.”

Dyal Krishan added that there is a labour chowk at Dadu Majra. He had written to her many times to make a shelter there but she kept postponing saying that she didn’t have funds. “But despite deferring it on the plea of not having funds, an amount of Rs 99.5 lakh is still in her ward development,” he added.
Another resident of Dadumajra village, Jaswinder Singh, said how a gym in her community centre was gathering dust. “Even in Dadu Majra village, not a single work was done by the councillor. A community centre was built and a gym was built inside, but the sad part is that gym is even now not yet opened to the youth to exercise. But she kept procrastinating and all the gym equipment lying inside is rotting,” Jaswinder Singh said.

PEOPLE LIVE IN SHADOW of A DUMPing ground Here
Despite five years have passed when people thought they would get some respite from the dump, they continue to suffer. Over 50,000 residents of Dadumajra are forced to live cheek by jowl with the dumping ground. Many people have developed breathing problems, skin irritation and rashes but that has failed to wake up the authorities.
Although the Municipal Corporation had claimed in 2019 to clear the entire dump through legacy mining, not many were aware that the 5 lakh metric tonnes they had promised to clear is just half of the trash. And there is trash beyond 2008 that is not being mined.

FARMILA LISTS HER ACHIEVEMENTS
When contacted, councillor Farmila told The Indian Express, “Maximum developments have taken place during my tenure. From Governor to MP, I have approached everyone for help and my efforts did bear fruit. The day I got elected, I sent this letter of erecting 20 feet wall so that stuff from Dadumajra doesn’t enter people’s houses. Also, I implemented the legacy mining project that would bio mine 5 lakh metric tonnes.”

She added, “Not just this, I am also getting pucca houses for people staying in hutments at Shahpur colony. There are about 137 of them. They won’t have to stay in hutments any longer.”
Farmila said that she did a lot for her ward residents, be it getting new streets with pavers or road repair.

“There were sewer lines and water lines passing from residents’ houses and whenever there would be any blockage, we would have to uproot someone’s drawing room’s floor. But now both sewer line and water line have been laid outside and there won’t be any such
inconvenience anymore,” she said.

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