The mayor Kala Ozha today set aside the administrative proposal of levying ' User Charges ' against the door to door collection of garbage by private contractor, following strong opposition from the Congress, NCP and independents.
The mayor also instructed the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) administration not to submit such proposals without scrutinising its feasibility and inconvenience to the citizens, hereafter.
There was a huge uproar in the house all of a sudden when the proposal came up for discussion in the general body meeting in the morning. The opposition party members, leader of opposition Zafar Khan, Mir Hidayat Ali, Khwaja Sharfuddin, Abdul Rauf (alias Khalil Khan) and others raised strong objections. Few independents including associate of ruling party member Surendra Kulkarni also protested against the burden on citizens.
The proposal tabled by the executive engineer (B&C) stated that around 400 metric tonnes (MT) garbage is generated in the city daily. The AMC spends around Rs 37 crore on garbage management, every year. However, AMC is unable to implement garbage management on its own, as majority of its vehicles and trucks are out of order. Hence, the proposal of solid waste management (SWM) is outsourced on public private partnership (PPP) basis, so that the financial burden on AMC would be reduced. Above all, the private person will maintain the city clean and free from garbage. However, the citizens will have to pay for the services (door to door collection of garbage ; segregation solid and wet garbage, transport the garbage waste till dumping station etc) in the form of ' User Charges '. Mumbai-based agency 'Crisil' is the project advisor and the proposal is prepared by executive engineer S D Panzade (who was absent in today's GB).
All members urged the mayor to immediately scrap the proposal as AMC is already collecting 'cleanliness cess' in general tax. Hence, there is no need of extra burden on people in the form of 'User Charges'. Hence the mayor Kala Ozha scrapped the proposal instructing the civic administration not to table such proposals in future.
According to political sources, a majority of Shiv Sena and BJP leaders are disappointed over growing domination of few office-bearers of Shiv Sena camp. The members had heated arguments over the SWM proposal at the mayor's residence last evening. The proposal of outsourcing the garbage is masterminded by two office-bearers in AMC. Of them, one office-bearer is in a hurry to get the privatisation proposals agreed upon before end of his term (which is due in couple of months) so that his fellow colleague could get the contract. Hence the dominating office-bearer/s encouraged the civic administration to put up the proposal, but the suppressed members in Shiv Sena and BJP camp left no opportunity to create pressure on the mayor and foil the plan. Needless to say, they succeeded in achieving success.
Ironically, the opposition parties, Congress, NCP and independents are also surprised by their sensible move of opposing the proposal in the people's interest.