In a rather shocking and startling move Durgapur Municipality Corporation (DMC) dumped cities garbage inside Shahid Bhagat Singh Stadium complex, yesterday. More surprising was the fact that the instruction to dump cities garbage inside the Durgapur Municipal Corporation-run Shahid Bhagat Singh Stadium was given by city’s Trinamool mayor Apurba Mukherjee.
Yesterday, local Trinamool leader Parimal Agasthi led 20 trucks of garbage and dumped the waste in the stadium. “The mayor told me to dump the garbage at a corner of the stadium. I just did the job,” Agasthi said.
Mayor Apurba Mukherjee admitted to having instructed Agasthi, saying the civic body lacked options after the private plant where the waste was earlier taken to have closed down on June 28.
“The closing down of the plant has given rise to all the problems. Wherever our conservancy workers went to dump daily garbage, they were prevented from doing so either by residents or by local councillors. We had no alternative but to dump the garbage in the stadium,” Mukherjee said.
Asked how long the municipality intended to dump the waste in the stadium, Mukherjee said: “Till the plant reopens.”
The dumping of the waste in a stadium frequented by City Centre residents for their morning walks and exercise earned criticism. After the news of this surprising move by the civic body hit news headlines, many were seen visiting the stadium out of disbelief, but only to find loads of garbage lying dumped on one corner of the stadium.
The daily garbage collected in Durgapur used to be dumped in a waste-treatment plant maintained by Mumbai-based Hanjer Biotech Energies Private Ltd. The waste-treatment plant was set up in 2010 under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission when Left parties were at the helm of DMC by the Asansol-Durgapur Development Authority (ADDA). The plant closed down on June 28 this year.
Officials at the plant said the municipal corporation was not being able to supply them with guaranteed 120 tonnes of solid waste daily as had been agreed in a deal struck with the civic body.
Sources said workers at the plant also stopped coming alleging that they had not been getting salaries for the past couple of months. Electricity to the plant was disconnected for alleged non-payment of dues.
ADDA has moved into court against the Mumbai-based company for closing down the plant without notice. “The company can’t close down the plant all of a sudden. It comes under the essential services category. The officials there are saying they are not getting adequate solid waste. But they should have informed us before closing down. We have moved court,” said Antara Acharya, the chief executive officer of ADDA.
“I cannot comment. I am doing whatever I have been instructed by my superiors in Mumbai,” said Kaiyum Ansari, assistant general manager of the Mumbai-based firm.
Meanwhile, Mohun Bagan has a planned 10-day pre-season camp lined up in the Shahid Bhagat Singh Stadium from August 1. The national football club is also supposed to play a match against SAIL Football Academy at the same stadium. The mayor declined comment when asked what the civic body would do to remove the garbage before the camp starts.