Netas see purple over deployment of cleanliness marshals in metropolis

Thane: The solid waste management department recevied a lot of flak from the corporators in the general body on Tuesday over the deployment of cleanliness marshals and recommended that their contract be immediately revised.
Several elected representatives complained to the House about the several corruption cases cropping up, involving the marshals and alleged that the initiative had become a money spinning exercise for the agency rather than instilling discipline.

The coporators recommended immediate revoking of the contract and have recomended that the sanitation inspectors from the TMC be entrusted with the job instead.

Shiv Sena corporator and former Mayor Ashok Vaity raised the issue of irregularities in the operations of marshals which was supported by veteran corporator and party colleague Devram Bhoir who also agreed about the discrepancies. NCP coprorator and leader of opposition in the TMC Milind Patil said that the basis of their deployment was flawed and pointed how they were not given any salary and how their income was based on the penalty they recovered from citizens. The marshals are paid as per the penalty they recovered from citizens and so they got into penalizing hapless citizens, which was unfair, said Patil.

Sena coporator and leader of the House Naresh Mhaske pointed out how a team of marshals had allegedly extorted money from a Marathi film crew shooting in the city. “The team was blackmailed into payment a penalty of Rs 50,000, citing orders from a senior civic official. The crew payed up the amount as they didn’t want work to be disrupted,” said Mhaske.

Meanwhile, the administration admitted to the lapses but assured the House that they would take disciplinary action against anyone found misusing the norms or unnecessarily harassing residents.

However, not satisfied by the assurance, Patil recommended the contract be immediately revoked which was backed by Mhaske, following which Mayor Meenakshi Shinde directed the administration to cancel the present contract and formulate a new one. Shinde also suggested that the 2011 pattern of ensuring cleanliness in the city by deputing inspectors be reviewed.

Meanwhile, the Mayor instructed the administration to ensure transparency in operations and maintain all records of payments and receipts issued to those found flouting the norms when penalizing residents to avoid any later accusation of dishonesty.

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