Nagpur: The first Special General Body Meeting of Nagpur Municipal Corporation, held under chairmanship of newly elected Mayor Sandeep Joshi, witnessed noisy scenes over a host of contentious issues. Corporators of both Ruling BJP and Opposition Congress locked horns over mushrooming encroachments on footpaths, flawed garbage collection, parking chaos in city and other issues. The Special General Body Meeting of NMC was held at Town Hall in Mahal on Saturday.
At the outset, Adv Sanjay Balpande of BJP started the discussion. Avinash Thakre, Dr Chhotu Bhoyar participated in the discussion. While putting forth his say, BJP corporator Prakash Bhoyar pointed out that there was no authorised market in South-West Nagpur constituency because of which encroachments on roadside have vecome a menace. He demanded stern action against encroachers. Praful Gudadhe, Congress corporator, intervened and said that action against roadside vendors/hawkers could not be taken as Town Vending Committee had not been constituted. Besides, there was a law protecting the vendors.
Pravin Datke, former Mayor and senior Corporator of BJP, objected to Gudadhe interrupting Bhoyar. Datke stressed that encroachments were being removed as per the court’s orders. He sought to know if the footpaths in Jaitala area were notified, to which the administrative officers could not offer clear word. A wordy duel ensued between Gudadhe and Datke. Gudadhe flayed BJP Corporators for not trying to understand the legal provisions. Also, he challenged the ruling party to initiate action against roadside vendors/hawkers. “You start removing them, and we will take to streets to oppose the drive,” he said. Datke charged the Congress corporators of shielding the encroachers. The encroachments creating hurdles in smooth flow of traffic, and those in front of houses or religious structures should be removed. Everyone should cooperate with Mayor in this drive and foil Congress’ bid to deface the city by supporting encroachers, he said.
Other Corporators also joined in from both the sides. Noisy scenes prevailed in the House. Congress Corporators accused the ruling party of not allowing others to speak. BJP corporators raised the demand of disqualification of corporators supporting encroachers. Tanaji Wanve, Leader of Opposition, led the Opposition Corporators and staged a walk-out. Due to pandemonium, Mayor adjourned the House proceedings for five minutes. BJP corporators entered the well of the House and raised slogans against opposition. The opposition corporators also raised slogans outside the Town Hall.
The parking chaos in city also created heat in the meating. Following the discussion on congestion caused on city roads due to private travel buses plying in big numbers, Mayor Joshi appointed a committee headed by former Mayor Pravin Datke. The committee is expected to submit its report and suggest measures to deal with the issue. The committee comprises Sunil Agrawal, Sandeep Gavai, Sanjay Mahakalkar and Sanjay Burrewar.
The issue of flawed garbage collection was discussed at length. Abhijit Bangar, Municipal Commissioner, admitted during discussion that agreement with clearly laid out terms and conditions was yet to be signed with two new companies engaged in garbage collection. Bangar said, work order was issued to both the new companies namely AG Enviro and BVG on September 11, and the companies started work from November 16. However, the terms and conditions of agreement were yet to be finalised. Such an agreement will be finalised after considering the suggestions of corporators and the policy regarding garbage collection. After three-hour discussion, the Mayor said that the agreement would be signed by December 20. He informed the House that both the companies were asked to ensure 100 per cent garbage collection by December 30. Also, he asked the officials concerned to display boards in open plots in various localities where garbage was being dumped, with warning about‘confiscation and sale of the plot’ if garbage was not lifted within 15 days. Several corporators participated in the discussion.
Congress Corporator Praful Gudadhe objected to NMC giving the work to the two companies without agreement. Satish Holay also objected to different rates applicable to these companies. Adv Dharmapal Meshram said that the vehicles deployed for garbage collection now were smaller than those deployed by previous company engaged in the task. Abha Pande, Darshani Dhawad, Dayashankar Tiwari, Sandeep Sahare also raised various aspects of the issue. Tiwari suggested action against unhygienic meat shops and also that the dung from cattle-sheds should be collected and the dung-cakes made from them be used at crematoriums in the city.
Amid the din, the Mayor asked the officials concerned to frame rules for action against illegal slaughter houses. He also asked them to prepare rules as to what could be done to collect dung from cowsheds. He sought a policy-level report from Health Department on these and garbage collection issue by December 30.