Delhi civic bodies say they spent 11,750 crore on sanitation over last 5 years

The data submitted by the respective departments of environment management services (sanitation departments) claims that the South MCD spent 6,284.6 crore, the North MCD spent 4,998.12 crore, while the East corporation spent 476.6 crore on refuse removal, cleaning of drains and other cleaning operations from 2016-17 to 2020-21
Of the 48 assessed urban local bodies in Swachh Survekshan 2021, two of the three municipal corporations in Delhi finished in the bottom 10. The rankings declared in November last year show that the East MCD ranked 40th, South MCD 31st and North MCD 45th--fourth-last from the bottom. (Representative image/HT Archive)
Of the 48 assessed urban local bodies in Swachh Survekshan 2021, two of the three municipal corporations in Delhi finished in the bottom 10. The rankings declared in November last year show that the East MCD ranked 40th, South MCD 31st and North MCD 45th--fourth-last from the bottom. (Representative image/HT Archive)
Published on Jan 18, 2022 12:06 AM IST
Copy Link

The three municipal corporations of Delhi have spent over 11,750 crore on sanitation and cleaning services in the Capital over the last five years, said the three civic bodies in an official reply to a question in the Delhi Assembly.

The data submitted by the respective departments of environment management services (sanitation departments) claims that the South MCD spent 6,284.6 crore, the North MCD spent 4,998.12 crore, while the East corporation spent 476.6 crore on refuse removal, cleaning of drains and other cleaning operations from 2016-17 to 2020-21. While the three civic bodies continue to fare poorly in the sanitation markers and annual Swachh Surveskhan (cleanliness survey) rankings, the last five-year period witnessed heavy mechanisation of the garbage collection mechanism with the introduction of fixed/mobile compactors, auto-tippers and loaders as garbage transportation was outsourced to private concessionaires at the zonal level.

Of the 48 assessed urban local bodies in Swachh Survekshan 2021, two of the three municipal corporations in Delhi finished in the bottom 10. The rankings declared in November last year show that the East MCD ranked 40th, South MCD 31st and North MCD 45th--fourth-last from the bottom.

In the 2020 survey, the East, South and North corporations were ranked 46th, 31st and 43rd, respectively. The civic bodies oversee the housekeeping work of 272 municipal wards that house around 96% of the Capital’s population.

A break-up of the expenditure shows that a large component of the expenditure on sanitation is spent on refuse removal, salaries and motor workshops or transportation vehicles. In the case of North corporation, for instance, 4,768 crore was spent on the DEMS department, 119 crore on refuse removal, 66.5 crore on motor workshop and 7.6 crore on compost plans during this period. The civic body also procured 26 tipper trucks each at a cost of 20.31 lakh for the Narela zone.

The East civic body bought 20 trucks and a loader for its fleet. However, the data does not include details of the vehicles deployed by private concessionaires. A senior municipal official from the sanitation department said that the cost should be taken into context. “We are talking about daily collection and transportation of over 12,350 tonnes of municipal solid waste every day. The overall cost should be seen in terms of managing waste for a city with a population of over 20 million and severe space constraints,” the official said, requesting anonymity.

Currently, around 85% of the city’s garbage is collected by municipal corporations and much of it — 55% — ends up in the three overexploited landfills in Okhla, Ghazipur and Bhalswa.

Experts argue that the focus on municipal sanitation expenditure should shift from garbage transportation incentivisation to decentralised systems, resource recovery and segregation.

Chitra Mukherjee, a consultant on circular economy and sustainable livelihood said Delhi’s civic bodies continue to collect unsegregated waste from households and dump it in open dumpyards mostly within the city.

“Waste recycling and resource recovery are not prioritised even though 15-20% of the waste can be recovered. Three-fourths of the municipal budget goes to collection and transportation, leaving very little for resource recovery and disposal. Processing waste rather than landfilling is the solution. Delhi relies on a largely informal sector of waste pickers to collect, segregate and recycle waste. Yet they remain unacknowledged and unrewarded,” she said.

Mukherjee added that civic bodies need to follow Solid Waste Management Rules. Waste segregation, decentralised treatment and incorporation of the informal sector in waste collection have also been mandated in the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 and Delhi bye-laws but their implementation has been an uphill task.

Mayor of East corporation Shyam Sunder Aggarwal said that bio-mining of landfill sites, the introduction of fixed/mobile compactors and closing of dhalaos (garbage receptacle points) have been the key achievements of the civic body.

“We are also operating 40 sprinklers for pollution control and 10 mechanical road sweepers for dust control on PWD roads. Money spent should be put in context. EDMC areas alone have a population of 8 million, with some wards housing over 120,000 inhabitants,” he said.

Aggarwal said the East corporation has also started the door-to-door collection of garbage through private concessionaires last year. “During cleanliness surveys, we are compared to cities with a population of 1 million, but our challenges and scale are entirely different. Delhi does not have the luxury of space for waste management and our population is at a different scale,” he said.

With the addition of Shahadra South and North zones, nine out of 12 administrative zones now have private concessionaires handing waste collection while the North MCD is also in the middle of the process of covering the three remaining zones-- Narela, Karol Bagh and City Sadar-Paharganj--under a similar system.

Leader of the Opposition in the North corporation Vikas Goyal said that sanitation is the primary job of the corporation and it has been a complete failure.

“We have mounds of garbage at all entry points of the city, our lanes are not cleaned on time, the workers are not paid salaries on time, and the MCD has failed in its primary role. While the population of city has expanded, no new posts for sanitation staff have been created in the last two decades. A large chunk of funds are wasted in corruption,” he alleged.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • A stall selling tomatoes on Monday. (Ravindra Joshi/HT PHOTO)

    At 100 per kg, tomato prices skyrocket in Bengaluru: Here's why

    Tomato prices in Karnataka, especially in Bengaluru, have crossed 100 per kilogram, forcing many consumers to discard the crop from their shopping list, news agency IANS reported. Malls and independent vegetable shops are pricing tomatoes well above 100 per kg. Now, the shortage in supply is skyrocketing prices in the city, which is a domino effect is hitting hotel chains and establishments which sell dishes using tomatoes like sambar or rasam.

  • The Election Commission was forced to schedule the long overdue local body poll dates in Karnataka after the Supreme Court gave all states and UTs a two-week deadline last Tuesday. (File Photo)

    Karnataka govt has taken away our powers: Election Commission tells High Court

    The Karnataka State Election Commission on Tuesday told the High Court of Karnataka that the State government had taken away its powers making it unable to hold elections to Zilla Panchayat and Taluk Panchayats as mandated by the Supreme Court. A vacation division bench of the High Court comprising Justice SG Pandit and Justice MG Uma heard the Election Commission's petition today. The EC had challenged this before the High Court.

  • oida is spread across 20,000 hectares of area, having 82 villages. (Sourced)

    Noida authority to spend 24 crore to develop urban villages

    The Noida authority is set to develop villages with a budget of 24 crore. It will repair and construct roads, drains footpaths and green spaces with the allocated fund. Earlier, villagers demanded development at par with city sectors. Following their demand, the Noida authority sanctioned 24 crore to be spent on 33 different projects to be completed by November 2022.

  • The transport department has issued orders to use meters in autos in the past as well, they have hardly ever been enforced. (Sunil Ghosh/ HT)

    Auto drivers told to charge as per meter in Noida, but rates not revised in seven years

    The Gautam Budh Nagar transport department on Friday met representatives of the NCR Auto Union and asked all autorickshaw drivers in Gautam Budh Nagar to install meters and renew their vehicles' fitness certificates within a week or face action, officials said. Rates for meters were fixed in 2015 when CNG cost 37 per kg in Uttar Pradesh. Auto drivers say that the current rate is very low and not feasible.

  • Police carrying out investigation after finding torn pages of religious books near an apartment on Multania Road in Bathinda on Tuesday. (Sanjeev Kumar/HT)

    Holy books found on roadside in Bathinda, woman questioned

    A day after Hindu scriptures were found burnt in Bathinda city, police found holy books belonging to two other religions on the roadside at a residential colony on Tuesday. Also read: Farmers, Punjab CMO in deadlock over demands Police cordoned off the private multi-storeyed colony on Multania Road area in Bathinda for a search.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, May 17, 2022