The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has taken action against its own employees who were seen openly burning and dumping garbage along the bank of Mula-Mutha river in violation of norms laid down by the civic body, officials said on Monday.
According to civic officials, the incident was reported on October 2 when the nation was celebrating the Swachh Bharat movement on the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday.
The action came after the then guardian minister Chandrakant Patil lodged the complaint.
Officials said the two employees of the PMC’s solid waste management department were found throwing garbage along the river bank near Sambhaji bridge in the morning hours. Both employees are class three employees and were on duty when the incident occurred.
Some local citizens recorded their act on video and sent it to Chandrakant Patil’s office. The minister’s office conveyed the complaint to the civic body.
Sandeep Kadam, head of PMC’s solid waste department, said, “We have fined two employees of our department. “Both employees are working with the Ghole Road district office.”
According to Kadam, a fine of $500 have been imposed on each employee. “Apart from the fine, we have also warned both of them not to commit such acts in future, otherwise serious action will be taken,” Kadam said.
The action came amid PMC appealing to residents and, in many cases, imposing fines on local residents for illegally disposing of waste. In many parts of Pune, garbage burning has been widespread, leading to air pollution. Early last year, the National Highways Authority of India had written to PMC to act against roadside garbage dumping.
Recently, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Member of Parliament Vandana Chavan wrote a letter to municipal commissioner Vikram Kumar and raised the issue of debris dumped along the river bed. Chavan had even asked for a monitoring team to be deployed to monitor discharges in the Mula-Mutha river.
Chavan in his letter said, “The PMC is implementing the Mutha riverfront development project. On one hand, the PMC is spending crores of rupees on beautification and rejuvenation and at the same time dumping debris on the river bed.”