The city’s cleanliness drive suffered a setback after the walk out of private contractor of waste management a few months ago. Although the municipal corporation (MC) claims to get the job done on its own, but large amount of garbage can be seen in the city that remains unpicked.
Heaps of refuse keep rotting at the pickup points and on the roads for days. Rain water makes the situation worse by spreading the stink. The health department instructs the citizens to keep their surroundings clean to avoid epidemics of malaria and dysentery but seems helpless before the municipal authorities.
As per the MC’s estimate, nearly 70 tonnes of garbage is generated in the city everyday and to collect it, there are 246 regular sanitation workers and 138 mohalla safai karamcharis. However, MC officials say in the absence of public support, this workforce remains inadequate. Moreover, workers are withdrawn from the city whenever there is a religious, social or political function or a VIP call.
The MC has recently acquired two new JCB machines besides a number of autos and pick-up vans, yet the filth is not cleared regularly. The garbage collected from various points has to be transported to the main dump in Piplanwala but it does not always happen. Much of the waste is thrown in the Bhangi choe where it keeps festering forever. Rag pickers and stray cattle keep rummaging through the heaps all day long.
Meanwhile, as far as the pollutants are concerned, despite a ban on plastic bags, they are being commonly sold and used in daily affairs. Much of the non-biodegradable plastic makes its way into sewers and drains and clogs them.
At some places in the city, separate bins have been installed for hazardous and non-hazardous waste but for lack of awareness among people, the same have failed to achieve desired results.
Executive officer Ramesh Kumar said the MC has sought more funds for different components of Swachh Bharat Mission scheme to raise the standard of cleanliness in the city. He revealed that the city has been selected under the central government’s Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) to develop a robust system of sewerage and water supply.