Thieves have stolen 600 of the 1,500 litter bins installed by the Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) in the past one year across the state capital under the Swacch Bharat Abhiyan (SBA), officials said.
Small tin bins painted pink and black, costing around Rs 700 each, were placed near public buildings, government offices, localities, bus stops and railway stations to keep the city litter-free.
“Just 900 now remain operational,” said RMC public relation officer Naresh Sinha. Officials said trash bin thefts have cost the municipality around Rs 4.20 lakh.
The RMC had tied the bins to lamp posts and guard rails with chains and locks to prevent their thefts. “The locks were broken. Thieves must have made a quick buck from selling them as scrap metal,” said Sinha.
Deputy mayor Sajeev Vijayvargiya said, “There is no point filing police complaints. The RMC will have to find a more secure way to prevent theft of its trash bins.”
At a standing committee meeting this week, RMC’s 55 councillors agreed that garbage disposal was a major issue in their areas, mainly due to lack of trash bins.
“Go anywhere in Ranchi and garbage is strewn on roads. The problem is worst in market places and public areas,” said Sujata Kacchyap, councillor of ward 7.
RMC health officer Dr AK Manjhi said, “Garbage leads to unhygienic conditions. It can lead to water- and mosquito-borne diseases, and contamination of groundwater.”
The Jharkhand high court had pulled up the state government and the RMC on January 7 over lack of dustbins in Ranchi. The high court directed the RMC to put up big dustbins with green colour code for recyclable and red for non-recyclable wastes.
Vijayvargiyia said the municipality would use durable plastic bins with steel frames. The RMC would initially purchase 100 to 150 bins to replace the stolen ones. “We have made the proposal and it will be floated in 10-12 days,” said Sinha.