TWO days after the Pune Newsline reported that a “mountain of garbage” was rising by the day “right under the nose of BJP MLA Laxman Jagtap”, the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) pushed vehicles into action on Monday to flatten the waste mound. Incidentally, Jagtap, president of BJP’s Pimpri-Chinchwad unit, had last week flayed the civic administration for failing to keep the industrial city clean.
Like Jagtap, the PCMC administration, headed by Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar, had also remained a spectator, as the “mountain” kept rising over the last three months. But, on Monday, the administration showed great alacrity in employing three JCBs, three trucks and several employees to flatten the heap of garbage.
The task to clear the waste, which primarily includes construction material dumped by builders and some domestic waste, is not as easy as it seems, despite the PCMC, apparently going all out in its efforts, said a source. According to Corporator Asha Shendge, it will take at least three days to clear the waste, which is spread over around an acre of land on the bridge connecting Gurav Pimple and Kasarwadi. Shendge said Jagtap had directed her to supervise the cleanliness work and get the “mountain” cleared.
Jagtap, the resident of Gurav Pimple area, is known as the architect of the BJP’s victory in the PCMC elections in February, which helped the party capture power for the first time in Pimpri-Chinchwad’s history. Hardikar said his administration had been trying to find out who was dumping the waste material at the spot. He added that his administration suspected that the builders from Pimpri-Chinchwad and Pune were dumping the waste. “We had caught one of the trucks coming from Pune side to dump the waste,” he said.
Last week, Hardikar’s administration drew severe flak from both Jagtap and another BJP MLA, Mahesh Landge, over its lax approach to public grievances, especially the state of cleanliness. The PCMC administration argued that it was facing tender issues as well as manpower shortage. Both the MLAs had promised that the administration’s requirements would be fulfilled and gave 15 days time to the administration to act decisively. What surprised civic activists was that the waste was being dumped openly and brazenly in MLA Jagtap’s area. Activist Shridhar Chalkha said, “The PCMC should clear the mystery over this secret dumping…”