Garbage piles up even as woman corporator accuses Mattoo of ‘exploitation’.

 

Srinagar: The recently elected Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) have accused each other of “corruption and exploitation”, and their tussle has virtually brought the civic body to a complete halt, resulting in heaps of garbage left lying on the city streets. Even BJP, which has given its support to both of them in the elections, has asked them to concentrate on their work instead of resorting to a blame-game over keeping the city clean.

The recently-held SMC elections saw very few participating in the poll process. Moreover, Governor Satya Pal Malik kicked up a controversy with remarks that Junaid Azim Mattoo of People’s Conference would be the city Mayor. This made a lot of ripples in the political circles of Kashmir.

Srinagar has a fast growing population and needs fresh garbage dumps to keep the city clean. According to a recent survey, the city has a population of 1.5 million, which is growing by the day.

The fight between the elected members, especially between the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor, has resulted in frequent agitations by SMC workers in protest. Lack of clear command on the ground has resulted in heaps of garbage lying on the city streets. This has started stinking despite the snow.

It all started recently when a woman corporator, in a press conference, levelled serious charges of “exploitation” by Mayor Junaid Mattoo. She even filed a police complaint against him.

Mattoo responded by filing a counter complaint against the corporator, accusing her of vandalising the SMC office.

Deputy Mayor Imran Sheikh has already levelled a number of allegations against the Mayor including backdoor appointments in SMC. Mattoo, however, has been telling the media that SMC is in need of more staff to keep the city clean.

According to the figures available, at present, the SMC has 3,000 employees. Already, the municipal elections have remained under cloud as Mattoo got only a few votes. Similarly, out of 74 wards, only a few wards could see the voting going to double digits.

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