COVID19: SMC commissioner clips Mayor’s wings after drone footage goes viral

Screengrab from the latest drone video of Mayor-led fumigation drive in Srinagar's Lasjan area where one person was tested positive recenty

Srinagar, Mar 30:  Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it is Mayor versus Commissioner in Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC).

Seemingly waking up to the publicity blitzkrieg, SMC commissioner Gazzanfar Ali has decided to clip the wings of Mayor Junaid Azim Mattu and his deputy Parviaz Qadri by making his permission obligatory for any fumigation operation in the city.

“It is hereby ordered that henceforth, no sterilization decontamination operation shall be carried out at any place until and unless proper permission is obtained from the undersigned. In absence of the undersigned orders shall be obtained from the joint commissioner, Administration,” reads the brief order of Commissioner.

 The order comes against the backdrop of apparent publicity blitzkrieg launched by the Mayor to showcase the fumigation works conducted in the city. Drones were employed to film the operation and the footage was released on social media for wider publicity.

The Mayor yesterday tweeted the latest drone video broadcasting the sterilization drive in Lasjan area where one person was tested positive for coronavirus recently

The order, however, has not gone down well with deputy mayor Parvaiz Qadri who lost no time to take to Facebook slamming the bureaucracy. “Unfortunately with this order, it has become evident that the usual bureaucratic ego comes in the way of public welfare. The order validates that no further decontamination or sterilization by SMC will be done at the behest of Mayor and Deputy Mayor”, he said.

Qadri noted that the public grievances in terms of sanitization and hygiene come under their jurisdiction. “Sorry to say but people will face inconvenience with such an unwarranted and unnecessary order,” he said

Speaking to the Kashmir Monitor, the Deputy Mayor said he too had received a copy of the order.

“Commissioner has joined just one and half months back. People do not even have his contact number. There are 70 corporators in SMC. Who will they approach with their grievances? Will they go to the commissioner every day with their problems? One man cannot handle it. We are accountable to people. Do we have to follow the commissioner?” Qadri told The Kashmir Monitor.

Mayor Junaid Azim Mattu, who is very active on Twitter, has not reacted so far on this order. His last tweet was three hours before that too about the disinfecting tunnels.

 “As promised, SMC Mechanical Wing has started the fabrication of disinfecting tunnels to be placed outside our hospitals. They will decontaminate everyone going in and everyone coming out. Game changer. We are making three different prototypes. Watch this space. #Srinagar #Covid19”, he said.

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