Ukhrul: Taking prompt action on public grievances against the garbage pile up around town, especially the enormous piles that were seen on the Gandhi (Community Raod) circle, the Ava Market, the DC office walls and the remaining pile up on the main stretch of the town during the holiday seasons has now substantially been reduced. The Autonomous District Council (ADC) has stepped up the garbage disposal effort and it is now seen that the garbage disposal and sanitation drive is back in full swing as garbage are being cleared out involving nonprofit, youths, students and general public.
The ADC Small Town Committee (STC) in view of the sanitation and the current covid pandemic organized a ‘Sanitation cum Covid awareness campaign’ at the ADC office on January 10. The overall concept of the workshop/ Seminar was on beautification and management of township under the purview of the ADC act 1971.
Speaking to the CEO, ADC Ukhrul, David Kashungnao stressed the lack of proper township management such as public safety. Seeking public support on sanitation, he requested the public to do the needful such as responding and cooperating with the revenue collection. “The total revenue collection doesn’t even amount to Rs 2 lakh annually. Paying 36 contractual sanitary workers with a monthly pay of Rs 5000 per month with added fuel expenses and maintenance expenditure of 3 tipper trucks, the department fund is shrinking to keep up with the sanitation program. Rs 45 per month per shop is not too much to ask. We need some civic sense. In other more developed districts like Churachandpur, the public with mindful civic sense pays their needful revenue and so has lots of surplus funds to carry out beautification and other development efforts. If we are to sustain and retain the sanitary workers and ensure a proper and regular garbage disposal cycle, the public should respond and cooperate with the monthly revenue collection keeping in mind that it’s for the collective good. The system is on the verge of collapse. There are impending dues accumulated from almost all the shops and now the system is at a standstill. I hope the public will realize their duty and do the needful as we do our part. We have formulated and streamlined a system on how the STC should function and as we move forward with the formulated a plan. We expect the general public to be a part of that system as well as to bring about development,” said Kashungnao.
In an exclusive interview with OSD, STC (ADC), Chihansing Horam expressed the department’s regret over the failure to collect the excess pile of garbage in the main bazaar stretch of the town during the holiday season.
Chihansing said, “As a representative of the STC, I express my sincere apology for the inconvenience caused to the public over the failure to collect the pile of garbage during the holiday season. There were mechanical issues with the tipper trucks and a shortage of workers during the season. That being said, the department is doing everything to make up for the lapse. The tippers and the sanitary workers are back in full swing, working round the clock to ensure that excess garbage doesn’t pile up anywhere in the main stretch of the town”. The STC has also constructed a public convenience under 15th finance commission 2020- 2021 in Phungreitang near the ADC office which is yet to be inaugurated.
Also read: New Year’s Resolution: Garbage free Ukhrul!
Based on the current ground realities regarding the functioning of Ukhrul town on how civil societies and other non-governmental bodies affects the power dynamic of the ADC, Chihansing Horam illustrated examples such as the price control and regulation, the tax levy, and the determination of local items by non-governmental bodies which has their merits like creating employment, checking market monopoly by the non-locals but it also comes with disadvantages like price hike and scarcity. It is worth mentioning that the price of items like eggs and betel leaves in Ukhrul is one of the highest in the state as it is deemed ‘local items’. In the light of the matter, the ADC along with the non-governmental organization like Tangkhul Leisak Long (Trade and Commerce Council) has also shared ideas and suggestions about the 25 local items under TLL in the said program to achieve a common understanding for the overall betterment of the town’s denizens.
Highlighting the roles and responsibilities of the STC, Horam said that the only true department vested by the constitution of India under The Manipur Hill Areas District Act 1971 concerning the management of the town is the ADC and thus all the activities that fall under the management should be under the purview of the ADC (Read: MHADC act 1971- chapter 5, Sec: 33-45 and Chapter 6).
It is said that the Small Town Committee under ADC’s the new formulated and streamlined system will tie-up with the non-governmental bodies to achieve the common goal of smooth administration and management of the town.