Lost: Tinsukia Municipal Board, an NGO, and their disastrous MoU

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Over the past decade, state governments across India have worked with various companies to streamline waste management. The idea is simple: waste management experts bring their own knowledge, which is supported by the logistical support of state agencies. On paper, this seems ideal. However, as Tinsukia points out, such tie-ups can mean the worst for both worlds: serious financial irregularities, breach of MoUs and complete lack of transparency in day-to-day operations, among others.
Last week, reports surfaced that the Solid Waste Management Project, run by the Tinsukia Municipal Board (TMB), with the help of an NGO: M / s Care North East Foundation, was, to put it mildly, an epic proportion. The MoU was signed in June 2019 and includes waste collection, segregation and raising awareness among others.
An in-depth inquiry was ordered in February this year, submitted to the Deputy Commissioner in May, which found numerous instances of financial irregularities and conducted an in-depth analysis of the day-to-day transactions. It was recommended to form an expert panel. Fuel consumption for daily tax collection / monthly tax collection etc. by CNEF.

Nailing the project’s stakeholders, the inquiry report stated: “Both TMB and CNEF have failed to implement part of the MoU in their letter and spirit.” Those living under the TMB are deeply affected, read the report and advocated for the abolition of the MoU.
According to the inquiry report, the NGO did not disclose its accumulated accounts from other sources, including usage charges and other revenue collection. They did not receive receipts for user charges from TMB and never opened a joint bank account even though it was part of the MoU. “TMB also did not make much effort to open a joint bank account,” the inquiry report added, adding that heavy cash deposits were made without TMB’s supervision.

The report said the MoU was for one year, which was divided into two six-month periods, which could be extended for another six months after review, and if the performance remained satisfactory.

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