Chandigarh MC says it’s committed to protecting waste lifters’ livelihood
The Chandigarh municipal corporation (MC) has told the Punjab and Haryana high court that it is committed to protecting the livelihood of garbage collectors who are aggrieved of change in waste collection system in the city, but only a handful of them have come forward so far.
The MC in a statement before the HC said in a survey, 1,284 collectors were identified and applications invited under the new scheme for which only 402 applications were received. However, out of them, 36 people have started working in the new door-to-door collection system through motorised vehicles as assistants or the vehicle drivers. Rest of them are reluctant to join even as the scheme was finalised after inking an MoU between them and the civic body, it added.
The response came to a plea by 28 odd waste collectors who had approached HC last month after MC initiated waste segregation in parts of the city and started lifting it through motorised vehicles. They had sought directions to junk the system that allegedly prevented them from earning their daily livelihood.
The MC says it has spent crores and purchased 425 vehicles at a cost of ₹32 crore for lifting the segregated waste. The livelihood of petitioners is well protected as per the decision of MC House reached at after the deliberations with the representatives of waste collectors, the MC says.
It added that it is duty-bound to take effective steps for waste collection and disposal as per rules notified by the central government in 2016 and adopted in Chandigarh in March 2019 after due process of law. The rules provide for systematic process that comprises waste segregation, storage at source, proper collection, transportation and disposal.
It further said that as per the MoU, those who are skilled are to work as drivers with these newly bought vehicles and others as assistants for waste collection. The charges were also agreed to by them in the December 2019 MoU signed between MC and their representatives, the MC has stated, demanding that the plea be dismissed as new system has been implemented after due deliberations.
Meanwhile, the garbage collection mostly went on smoothly on Monday. Chandigarh Resident Association Welfare Federation (CRAWFED) chairman Hitesh Puri said after many days, they hadn’t received even a single complaint regarding garbage collection.
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