A little over a week after the country celebrated Swachh Bharat Divas, marking three years of PM Modi's Clean India Mission, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) workers have raised a stink. Alleging that most parts of Kalyan remain under a constant cover of waste, MNS workers called on Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) officials yesterday.

The gifts boxes full of garbage

In a unique demonstration of their protest, ahead of the upcoming Diwali festivities, the MNS workers took five gift boxes to five ward officials. But, when unwrapped, the boxes were found to be filled with garbage.

Speaking to mid-day, Kaustubh Desai, Kalyan MNS chief, said, "We opened the gift boxes in front of the ward officers to prove how unclean the city continues to be. Usually, people clean their homes ahead of the festival of lights, but streets of Kalyan are littered with waste. Such unchecked garbage dumping around the city is leading to health issues among citizens, but the corporation seems unperturbed. We have submitted a letter to the KDMC urging them to clean the city before Diwali or we will stage a demonstration next week. As part of our protest, we will collect garbage from around the city and throw it all inside ward offices."

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Desai added that the letter was submitted to wards A, B, C, D and E of the KDMC. A senior KDMC official, however, dismissed the protests as a stunt. On condition of anonymity, he said, "Our civic workers clean all roads in Kalyan every day, without fail. These protesters have also named Ward B, one of the city's cleanest areas, as unclean, in their letter. It's just a stunt to garner attention."

Meanwhile, Kasturi Desai, MNS corporator of ward 23, admitted that the city did not have the adequate number of garbage vans. "There are 26 wards in Kalyan East, but a little over six garbage vans. There's a need for inducting more garbage vans in the city to ensure a hygienic society."