SRINAGAR: On paper, urban local bodies (ULBs) are mandated with planning and undertaking projects of economic and social development. On ground, projects meant for development have repeatedly been left incomplete, houses meant for poor people sanctioned but never constructed, and solid-waste management not even begun.
According to the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, work on 240 dwelling units at Wanganpora, meant for the rehabilitation of the urban poor, could not be started owing to proper surveys not being conducted and faulty estimates being prepared. The Valley’s ULBs, under two Government of India-sponsored schemes, were charged with the provision of constructing dwelling units, water supply systems, sewerage systems, road connectivity, drainage systems and facilitating land acquisition.
The report says that due to their deficient rent recovery systems, the ULBs failed to even recover rent from the shops, buildings, flats, godowns and kiosks they rented to others. Till March 2015, as per the report, an outstanding amount of more than Rs 5 crore was still unrecovered. Seven ULBs had not recovered a contract amount of Rs 44 lakh from the Lory Adda Toll and commercial vehicles, the report mentions.
The report says that no solid-waste management rules have been put in place in nine ULBs in the Valley, endangering both human health and the environment.
“The number of storage bins available with the ULBs was found to be insufficient to cater to the demand… [Waste] was being dumped in open sites near public places, along streets and main roads, giving rise to unhygienic conditions,” the CAG’s report says. “The waste was being transported in open/uncovered vehicles as the ULBs were neither equipped with such facilities nor possessing tarpaulin sheets/ polysheets to cover garbage-carrying vehicles.”
The rules, says the report, prescribe white storage bins for recyclable waste, green for biodegradable waste, and black for other kinds. The rules also provide for the use of covered vehicles for transporting waste and garbage, so as to minimise public exposure.