Issues galore in Chandigarh MC’s garbage collection drive
The Chandigarh municipal corporation’s takeover of the door-to-door garbage collection in the city, now in its fourth month, is still facing teething problems, leaving many residents dissatisfied with the new system.
In Sectors 1 to 30, the situation has improved over time, but in most other localities, the MC is struggling to achieve seamless collection of waste.
Even as the civic body has pressed its own collection vehicles into service this time, three of its MRF (material recovery facilities) plants are yet to become operational. This has resulted in a longer turnaround time of the waste collection vehicles.
With the MRF system, the MC would be able to replace around 40 Sehaj Safai Kendras (SSKs). The construction of two MRFs has already started, while the tendering process of the third one was recently finalised.
Two of the MRFs will come up in Phases 1 and 2 of the Industrial Area (one near the MC public health store and second near 3BRD), and third one will be set up adjacent to the garbage processing plant in Sector 25. The MRF near 3BRD is expected to be ready by April-end.
“The start of MRFs will help reduce the time taken by garbage collection vehicles to cover each sector. Currently, once in every trip, the collector vehicles have to go dump the waste at the Sector 25 processing plant. Since all the vehicles turn up there around same time, the dumping process takes longer,” said MC commissioner KK Yadav.
What the residents say
Meanwhile, residents have been complaining about inadequate collection of garbage in the southern sectors, especially from the first and second floors of the residential units. “This is particularly causing much trouble to senior citizens and persons with disabilities. While the mayor and even the MC waste management rules have stipulated that waste would be picked up from people’s doorsteps, but in reality, many areas are being given a miss,” said Vinod Vashisht, convener, City Forum of Residents Welfare Organisations (CFORWO).
Joginder Singh, president, Sector 38-A and B resident welfare association, said, “The MC vehicles came inside the sectors only for a couple of days. Thereafter, the cart-based collectors picked up the waste and carried it to the MC vehicles which were stationed at a central location near the sector.”
Hitesh Puri, chairman, Chandigarh Resident Associations Welfare Federation (Crawfed), said, “In Sector 43, the MC vehicles only came for two days and then the cart-based collectors picked up the waste. They segregated the garbage near our houses and then dumped it in the MC vehicles. The situation is similar in the northern sectors like Sector 28.”
“In Sector 33, sometimes garbage is picked up on rehris and at times it is done by a garbage van. But the collectors neither wear masks nor take any other safety precautions. Moreover, time to collect garbage is also not fixed,” said Kuljinder Sra, general secretary, Sector 33-B RWA.
Meanwhile, under the current system, the MC-deployed vehicles are not collecting waste such as dry leaves. “Garbage is being collected by the same persons who were engaged by us after the MC retained them. But they are now refusing to take dry leaves, horticulture waste and broken pots etc. The civic body has not provided any facility for such waste,” said Kidar Nath Sharma, president, RWA, Sector 46.
MC commissioner Yadav said, “I have directed the MC officials to post four attendants on vehicles so that garbage can be collected from the first and second floors also.”
Now, most of the informal sector garbage collectors, who were earlier picking up waste through the cart-based system, have also joined the MC, added Yadav.
User charges in water bills from June
The MC has started collecting garbage user charges in some sectors through point of sale (POS) machines. So far, it has collected ₹18 lakh in user charges through the POS mode.
It is planning to add these charges in the water bills from June onward. “All the data regarding the waste collection drive, like total number of kitchens and plot size, is being formulated and once the same is finalised, we will start adding user charges to water bills,” said Yadav.