The Kakinada Municipal Commissioner has warned that other citizens who throw household garbage on the street will receive similar ‘return gifts’.

Kakinada Municipal Commissioner pointing to garbage in front of a womans house as she stands and watches municipal workers are standing to the side Twitter/Sudhakar Udumula
news Civic Issues Friday, November 06, 2020 - 14:55

The people of a Kakinada neighbourhood were in for a surprise on Thursday, when sanitation workers from the town municipality dumped garbage in front of a resident’s home. The workers, however, had only done so on the instructions of Kakinada Municipal Commissioner Swapnil Dinakar Pundkar, who was vexed with people dumping garbage on the streets instead of the municipal garbage collection bins.

In a video that surfaced from the Commissioner’s recent visit to a few localities in Kakinada city in Andhra’s East Godavari district, he was seen confronting a woman who had dumped garbage from her house onto the street. As another woman tried to explain that she had done it unknowingly, since everyone else in the neighbourhood disposes of garbage in the same way, Swapnil was seen instructing a municipal sanitation worker to bring a cardboard box full of garbage and dump it in front of her house. 

“How does this (garbage) look? Next time you do this (dump garbage on the street), we will impose a fine,” the Commissioner warned, as the woman told him that she would start using the bins. 

According to The New Indian Express, Swapnil said that the municipality sanitation staff would start giving residents a “return gift”  in the form of garbage, if they continued to dispose of garbage carelessly. The visit was reportedly part of a sensitisation drive among citizens, and fines will be imposed on people who continue to violate waste management rules. 

The Commissioner also told the residents of Kakinada to cooperate with road widening and sewerage works under the AMRUT mission (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation), saying their property rates would increase once these projects are completed.

The Kakinada Municipal Corporation recently announced a competitive event for corporators, to analyse their performance in improving ward-level sanitation. The top four wards will be provided an additional budget for ward development.

Kakinada is the district headquarters of East Godavari, where there has been a massive surge in COVID-19 infections since the lockdown rules were relaxed. The number of cases reported on a daily basis has gone down across the state over the past few weeks. However, East Godavari still has the highest number of active COVID-19 patients (4,459) and total number of cases since the onset of the pandemic (1,17,614), among the 13 districts in Andhra Pradesh. 

The city was also among the regions that bore the brunt of the recent heavy rains in October that lashed many parts of the state. The rains led to flooding and major crop damage in the state, and at least 14 people in the state were killed in different rain-related accidents.

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