Sustainable development goals index: Chandigarh’s 100% score not in line with ground reality
The high score of nearly 100%, given to Chandigarh for its solid waste management by the recently announced Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) index 2021, has come under the scanner.
The SDG index has called the city a “front runner” on the parameter, though, ground realities indicate otherwise. Chandigarh was accorded the “top performer” in the solid waste management parameter, covered under Goal 11—“inclusive and sustainable urbanisation”. Overall, the city has topped the index among union territories with 79% score on 16 goals.
The SDG-2021 conclusions, prepared by the Niti Ayog, were based on data sourced from the Swachh Bharat Mission Urban November 2020.
Door-to-door garbage collection
The index states that there is 100% door-to-door garbage collection in all of city’s wards. This in spite of the MC officials themselves conceding that even now most of the rehabilitation colonies had not been covered.
“It is yet another farce by the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled MC. What to talk about last November even now when the MC vehicles have been put into service, the collection remains totally erratic. They can give any marks they want to give to themselves but reality is far from it,” said Devinder Singh Babla, Congress councilor and leader of opposition in the MC.
For the period of November 2020, the index states that in 96.15% wards, there was 100% source segregation between dry and wet solid waste.
Questioning the claim, Chandigarh Resident Association Welfare Federation (CRAWFED) chairperson Hitesh Puri said, “There was no source segregation of waste at the time. In fact, after the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic in March last year, there was no effort by the MC at source segregation. It was only after January this year that MC started making some effort.”
Solid waste processing
The index further states that in Chandigarh nearly 92% of the municipal solid waste generated is processed.
Vinod Vashisht, convener of CFORWO (City Forum of Residents Welfare Organisations) said, “We have gone through the Niti Aayog SDG report. The indicated scores provided for Chandigarh relating to solid waste management indicators, particularly processing of city’s municipal solid waste, is far from reality. It shows that in November 2020, the city was processing 91.91% of solid waste, when city’s sole waste processing plant has not been functioning to capacity for the last one year.”
The waste processing plant was taken over by the MC last year, and since then has been working at around 30% of its capacity. Around 250 metric tonnes (MT) dry solid waste has to be processed in the plant, but, as of today, it is only processing around 70-80MT.
MC commissioner KK Yadav said, “There is door-to-door garbage collection in all the wards of the city. Similarly, we are getting segregated garbage. Earlier, it was being done by cart-driven garbage collectors, but now it is being done by the MC vehicles.”
On the processing of the waste, Yadav said, “All the wet waste is being processed. Even the dry waste is being processed as per the stipulated guidelines.”