Waste segregation my priority: Chandigarh Mayor Rajesh Kaliahttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/waste-segregation-my-priority-chandigarh-mayor-rajesh-kalia-5545826/

Waste segregation my priority: Chandigarh Mayor Rajesh Kalia

Newly-elected Chandigarh Mayor Rajesh Kalia tells The Indian Express that since he is a resident of Dadumajra and knows what the residents have been going through, his first and foremost priority will be to get the city rid of the dumping ground, besides implementing waste segregation.

Waste segregation my priority: Chandigarh Mayor Rajesh Kalia
Rajesh Kalia celebrates with supporters at MC office in Chandigarh on Friday. (Express photos: Kamleshwar Singh)

What will be your priorities?

I know how difficult it is to stay at dumping ground. Since childhood I am staying there as I would pick rags from the dumping ground with my father. I will get the city rid of this dumping ground first. Next will be getting additional 29 Million Gallon Daily water supply for the city. I know the preceeding mayor did make efforts, but I will get it expedited.

You led the agitation of garbage collectors. Segregation of waste at household level is still not implemented.

Somehow, I was being blamed for this. But, waste segregation project is also my priority. What the officials didn’t do – holding a meeting with the garbage collectors to know their side of story – is what I will do. The officials didn’t take their view before preparing the project of taking over garbage collection. I can say that 50 per cent of segregation is being done by these collectors.

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What is your take on the MC taking over the segregation project?

I will review the complete project now. There is no such area, which is unattended by the garbage collectors. Changes, if need be, will be made in the entire proposal.

Swacchh Survekshan is here and segregation is still not implemented. You supported the collectors in their protest which, officials say led to the non-implementation of segregation as that is where we will lose.

I will make my best efforts to bring Chandigarh at rank one in the survekshan.

Your contest was with your own party Councillor Satish Kainth.

I will still say he is a brother. In a family, sometimes there are differences in opinion among brothers.

What about cross-voting?

Yes, somehow I feel that the five, who cross-voted, are unhappy and upset with me and have some resentment. I will try to solve this issue with them. They all are my brothers and sisters.

Congress states that it is a black day for Chandigarh as someone with a criminal background has become the mayor?

Those people, who are themselves thieves, how can they call others thief. I would like to ask if Pawan Bansal, Pardeep Chhabra, Subhash Chawla or Devinder Babla have clean background.

You are the mayor and your salary has been attached two days back by the MC in a cheque bounce case.

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I feel this is all politically-motivated. I have moved the court against the order.