All through the current festive season, Ukhrul township has been noticing masses of garbage piling up in different corners as though these were a myriad assortment of Christmas gifts.
The reason is simple: the total strength of existing sanitation workers have gone on leave and returned to their native villages for the holidays, leaving no workforce on the ground.
An unsightly mess of mounting garbage piles has been greeting the town residents who walked pass the main town areas, especially from Phungreitang to Wino bazar. Different corners/sides of the town’s thoroughfare have accumulated huge masses of trash, much to the disgust of the passers-by.
People could be seen casting an unfriendly glance at the mounting, stinking heap of rubbish at Gandhi Chawk, Phungreitang where a statue of the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi, town hall, Police Reserve Line and Women’s market are situated. The filthy mount which has both domestic and commercial wastes has now made the place a dumping yard in less than a months’ time.
Trash menace has continued over the past few weeks and throughout Christmas and New Year celebrations, though the observance in the township, this time, was largely restricted to worship services at the Church in compliance with Covid SOP.
Executive officer of the Small Town Committee (STC) Leiyaphy said that garbage collection has been suspended temporarily as all the sanitation workers have gone on leave during the festive period.
“We know garbage is mounting at various corners in the town but we could do nothing without the sanitation workers,” she expressed helplessness over the garbage menace.
She said that STC disposal staffers have been on leave since 23 December and would be resuming their duties by first week of January.
But until then, the public in the town have to contend with the mounting trash menace due to lack of any stopgap or temporary expedient measures during the workers’ absence.
According to Leiyaphi, there are 43 sanitation workers including three drivers under the committee, who are engaged in waste collection and disposal on a weekly basis, from Monday to Friday.
The sanitation service provided by the committee under Autonomous District Council Ukhrul covers the stretch from Dungrei junction to Kasomtang junction through the main town market areas.