October 06, 2007

Engage in neighbourhood issues!

When I am done with the newspapers every morning and there is still time on my hands, I turn back to the advertisements released by state bodies.
Adverts put out by the city Corporation, the Highways and PWD departments, the Pollution Control Board and the CMDA.
For, in those boring adverts of lines, figures and columns are stories that you and I need to appreciate and understand.
Perhaps, the people who own that large, empty plot of land in your colony have now decided to put up a workshop and need an NOC.
Perhaps, the City Fathers have decided to replace the pavement of your avenue with fancy red-oxide tiles in order to beautify our garden paths!
Perhaps, this is the third time that a tender is being floated in order to construct a bridge across the local canal.
How interested are we as citizens in public projects that affect us all?
Take the case of the new agency for garbage clearance contracted to operate in some parts of the city.
Neel Metal Fanalca.
How much of the contract and all that is associated with it is in the public domain and how transparent have Neel Metal and the city Corporation been so far?
A month has gone by since the new agency took charge and it is clear that Neel Metal is still not completely equipped to do its job.
Garbage continues to pile up in many colonies, garbage bins have not found a place everywhere, the staff are ill-equipped and transparency is missing.
It now appears that the contract envisaged only 'door to door' garbage collection. Which means that the system of having bins at street corners was nowhere in the new scheme.
But we were told that the bins had not been placed from Day One because there was a fire in the factory of the company which was to produce and supply the bins. . .
There is clearly a need for knowledgeable citizens to engage in public and neighbourhood issues.
Engage closely and professionally so as to encourage state and private agencies to plan, discuss and work alongside the community.
If we don't engage, then one avenue will be re-laid with red oxide hexagonal tiles, our crematoria will have gardens with Hawaiian shrubs and 2nd Main Road will be re-laid for the third time in five months!
I observed a few positive engagements this past week.
Residents of Kalakshetra Colony and Valmiki Nagar have begun to talk to Neel Metal to work out localised door-to-door garbage collection.
Residents in Valasarawakkam engaged the city police on local law and order issues.
We need to see more of such engagements.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

maybe mr d has all the time in the world to peruse newspapers and their tender details, but the general public always in a rush to finish with home, get sbdy to school, get themselves to work etc, all the while trying to maintain some sanity and perspective..

Sth fishy about Neel Metal Fanalca, what kind of name is it anyway? If the bins werent ready then the contract shud have been deferred until all items nec for the waste collection were ready. fire in the factory does not hold any water, no pun intended.

what about the rest of this city, the corporation manages to go about its job, sometimes well, sometimes half heartedly, but it does the job. No fancy uniforms, name tags, special bins etc. what happened to the cement bins that used to line every street not so many years ago. their removal has led to heaps of rubbish coming up anywhere at all, in front of some unfortunates' house, shop, school. the very concept of people throwing their rubbish into a bin that very concept has been stood on its head. Pls put those bins back.

Anonymous said...

these plastic bins however sturdy they might be do tend to topple over when rubbish is thrown from a distance or when unevenly placed or dashed against. sometimes dogs pushing one another playfully knock them over, spreading all the stuff inside around. Nbody could get to push the concrete bins around, nobody. why were they removed, esp when only certain 'elite' parts of the city have contracted garbage collectors?

digitaljourno said...

Hi Vincent,

I have used the Right to Information Act, 2005, to get at some of the info.

It is available here

If the media is aggressive, it can do a lot with existing resources.

I have the full scanned contract of the Neel Metal deal but it is too huge a file to put up online.
I am working to provide relevant extracts online.

Vincent D' Souza said...

Please do make public just the salient and key issues in that contract.

I feel that there are many unknown factors in this deal going by the way Neel Metal runs its operations.

Suddenly, an army of men and women have been cleaning the main roads of dust and muck today. Why?

Streets are not cleaned in many areas. Is this part of 'only door to door garbage clearance' policy?

Something smells yuck here.