Agra citizens form task force for development

June 3rd, 2009 - 2:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Agra, June 3 (IANS) Citizen groups, representatives of NGOs and professionals have formed a volunteer force with the aim of checking corruption, speeding up development issues and improving the general environment of Agra.
The Agra Task Force constituted Tuesday evening will have volunteers who will not only expose corrupt practices and tardy implementation of programmes, but also undertake activities to manage traffic on the roads and improve the general environment of the city.

Orthopaedic surgeon Sanjay Chaturvedi, the convener of the task force, told IANS: “For years, we the citizens of this great historical city have waited patiently to see results, but unfortunately neither the elected representatives nor the government agencies showed any seriousness or urgency while the city degenerates into a civilisational sink.

“Citizens groups have therefore now decided to set up a volunteer force that will not only put pressure on the government bodies but also question the working of MPs and legislators who talk about development before the elections but once elected they seldom bother to show any concern for the sad plight of millions of people in the region.”

D.K. Joshi member of the committee set up by the Supreme Court to monitor pollution around the Taj Mahal, said the city had received crores of rupees in the past and projects worth more than Rs.1,500 crore were in the pipeline for the eco-sensitive Taj Trapezium Zone, but “so far there has been no discernible change in the quality of air or water which continue to remain highly polluted.”

Ravi Singh, an environment activist, said: “The city has a plethora of organisations and agencies but the net result has been largely negative. Our dependence on governmental agencies should be reduced and citizens must learn to build up their own resources base.”

Healthcare activist Shivani Chaturvedi said the city needs an integrated and intensive programme for general cleanliness and the roads and the drains need to be cleaned regularly. “Cleanliness should be the first priority.”

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