In fiscal 2020-21, GCC collected Tk 17,879,020 as conservancy levy from the city dwellers. It is alleged that some ruling party men are embezzling more money than the collected levy in the name of garbage collection.

Lawyer Afzal Hossain, a resident of the Chhayabithi locality, said, “I pay conservancy tax every year. Despite this, I have to pay Tk 150 monthly for the garbage collection and disposal services.”

Under 16 terms, the city corporation permits garbage collection by private rickshaw van or other transport at a community level. Concerned citizens have alleged that ward councilor Moniruzzaman appointed one or more contractors for a single ward to operate private-run garbage collection services. The contractors have a syndicate of the garbage business.

According sources, 181,160 registered holdings were mapped around GCC constituency till May this year. If a holding consists of four flats or households on an average and Tk 150 is collected from every household, the designated garbage collector firm fetches approximately Tk 108,696,000 every month. According to records, there are 10,353 industrial and commercial holdings in Gazipur city. The designated garbage companies collect Tk 1,500 monthly from each or Tk 15,036,000 in total from the industrial and commercial entities.

Who controls the garbage?

According to local people, councilors of 10 GCC wards control the garbage collection business in their respective constituencies. BNP-backed councilors control the same business in two wards. Besides, 22 leaders of AL, 12 of AL-affiliated youth front Jubo League, five of voluntary wing Swechchhashebak League, two of workers front Sramik League, three of student wing Chhatra League and one women front Mahila League, are involved in the business.

AL secretary at ward-16 unit, Siddiqur Rahman controls the garbage business in Chandana intersection. AL member secretary at ward-28 unit Zakir Hossian operates the same business in the ward. He said he does not do the business, but has distributed the business share among several others. Some Chhatra League activists also carry out the business in some parts of the ward.

Shohag Enterprise owner Shohag Hossain got the contract for garbage collection in ward-27. However, councilor of the area Jabed Ali has grabbed the full share of the business from him. Jabed said previously some people used to operate the business in the area. “Shohag created a chaos by dismissing some of the men who would carry out the service and so the business has been taken away from him,” Jabed said.

Ward-22 unit member secretary of AL, Nazrul Islam operates garbage business in this area. He said, “Many of us are doing this business together.”

AL’s Gazipur city unit advisor Kazi Selim Hossain, president Azmat Ullah Khan’s nephew Ripon Khan, Jubo League activist Shahid Khan and Chhatra League activist Arif Hossain control garbage business across ward-57. Selim said, “Although we are jointly holding the contract, some our supporters are doing the business.”

To learn further, this correspondent called ward-38 councilor Md Moniruzzaman Monir over the phone. However, he refused to talk. He did not respond to SMS nor to an office visit by the correspondent.

GCC mayor Jahangir Alam said that the responsibilities of ward-based waste management were distributed accordingly. But this was not possible in all wards as some councilors did not cooperate.

*This report appeared in the online and print editions of Prothom Alo, has been rewritten in English by Sadiqur Rahman.