UP BJP leader exposes corruption in Swachh Bharat

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Lucknow (IANS) A senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Dilip Srivastava has alleged that the Modi government's flagship programme 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan' has failed miserably due to massive corruption and nexus of government-civic officials in the Uttar Pradesh.

In a letter dated January 2, addressed to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, BJP spokesperson Srivastava said: "Although the government has cracked down on corruption in Uttar Pradesh, it has continued in the Lucknow Municipal Corporation under the patronage of state government officials. They have ensured that the 74th Amendment of the Constitution, which empowers civic bodies, is not fully implemented in the State. Therefore, the institution of local self-government is on the verge of dying."

A copy of the letter has been sent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh who represents Lucknow in Parliament and a few others also.

Srivastava further said: "The Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC) has outsourced garbage collection work to a private firm "Eco-green" and sewage cleaning work to another firm "Suyash". Both failed to deliver, but managed to get the payment. Lucknow ranks much below in the Swachhta rank. Who is responsible for that?"

Talking to reporters Srivastava said: "Both are private firms, and neither have they expertise, nor the staff or resources to do the work. This has derailed the basic civic infrastructure of Lucknow. There is a huge unrest among the public due to these issues and they can come on the roads. Due to massive corruption and this racket, even we are unable to get these works done. I have written to Prime Minister only to apprise him about the simmering situation and our helplessness."

According to Srivastava, the decision to outsource these major works to private firms was done through a government order passed by the state two years ago.

Even tender process was not followed in hiring these firms, alleges Srivastava, adding that a similar model was followed in other cities too.

"The LMC had passed a resolution in 2019 to remove these firms after negative feedback from the citizens. However, the nexus of civic and state government officials never approved the LMC proposal. Lucknow continues to be full of garbage and sewer overflow and we do not even know where the fund for the smart city has gone. I hope the senior leaders take cognizance of the issue. This is in the larger interest of the party as well," he said.

Srivastava has not received any response to his letter so far.

Lucknow has been allocated Rs 350 crore under the smart city mission to upgrade roads, bus shelters, cleanliness, beautification and solar rooftop projects. Additionally, Rs 150 crore has been given under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) scheme for laying sewer lines and water supply lines.

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