The termination of contract between Doon Valley Waste Management (DVWM) and Dehradun Municipal Corporation (DMC) for door-to-door garbage collection has raised the eyebrows of not only the senior officials in state, but also of the resident welfare societies. Disappointed with the working system of the DMC, officers believe that failure of door-to-door picking of garbage will ultimately hamper cleanliness of the city as well as streams, for which a project is underway. In addition, suspecting the capabilities of DMC management, the resident welfare societies believe how difficult it will be for the corporation to run such a specialised programme without the support of a private stakeholder.
R Meenakshi Sundaram, vice-chairman (V-C) of Mussoorie-Dehradun Development Authority (MDDA), who is also the additional secretary (urban development) told Hindustan Times, “It’s shocking that DMC couldn’t arrive at a mutual agreement with DVWM and the contract was terminated. I don’t understand what was the mukhya nagar adhikari (MNA) doing? We cannot give orders to an elected body. But, the corporation should have understood the need of hour. There were some payment issues, which could have been settled at the DMC level without heating the matter or bringing it before the media. Such a failure will ultimately hamper other projects like that of cleaning the streams.”
The door-to-door garbage picking is the first and primary step of solid waste management programme. The purpose behind handing over this responsibility to a private company was to avoid burdening the current sanitary workers that sweep roads and maintain cleanliness in city area. Thus, DVWM was made accountable of collecting waste from households and dump it in garbage bins. It was a significant job as earlier people used to dump waste in the open fields or alongside the roads. The efficient work of DVWM had channelised at least the household garbage.
Officers are of the view that if garbage will not be lifted from households then people will throw it in the open, which will ultimately reach the streams during rainy season. “Certainly, streams will be impacted if garbage is not lifted from every household. Our efforts of cleaning streams will go in vain. We will look into this matter for an alternative plan,” Sundaram added.
Apparently, the resident welfare society representatives believe that lack of synchronisation and communication between DMC and DVWM will pose difficulties for the locals. “Door-to-door facility started from Dalanwala welfare society. The reason why a private company was involved is because DMC was incapable of doing it. The corporation is short of manpower. Even if the DMC tries to take up this responsibility, I don’t think they will be able to justify the duty. I think it’s high time and the state government should take some decision in this regard,” Dr Mahesh Bhandari, president of Doon resident welfare front and president of Dalanwala welfare association said.
DMC, however, has hired 250 DVWM workers who were engaged in door-to-door collection. Dr BVRC Purushottam, district magistrate (DM) Dehradun shared, “DMC has engaged 250 sanitary workers of DVWM that were engaged in door-to-door garbage collection. What’s important is that DMC should be able to deliver quality service.”