Waste not collected for past two days, Gurugram turns a dump yard
This is due to a dispute between the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) and its waste collection concessionaire Ecogreen Energy over non-payment of dues
A dispute between the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) and its waste collection concessionaire Ecogreen Energy over non-payment of dues amounting to nearly ₹34 crore has led to the stoppage of waste collection and disposal at 35 secondary points across the city on Tuesday and Wednesday, said officials.
The tractors involved in transporting waste from secondary points to Badhwari landfill are also on strike demanding pending payments from Ecogreen.
The tractor drivers claimed that they too have not received payment for the past five months and hence have stopped collecting waste. They said they will resume work only once their dues are cleared by the concessionaire.
MCG joint commissioner Naresh Kumar said they have cleared the bills for payments after checking site records and the accounts section will verify the invoices and clear the dues. “We have paid ₹2.20 crore on Wednesday to concessionaire Ecogreen Energy after they stopped collecting waste from households. Because of this, the secondary collection points have also been left unattended leading to garbage accumulating at various points across the city,” he said.
Kumar said they are trying to engage private sanitation vendors and tractor trolleys to dispose of the waste so that the situation is under control. “The transporters engaged by the concessionaire are on strike as the concessionaire has not paid them since the past many months. It might take a few days to sort out that issue; so we have prepared a Plan B and will carry out collection and dumping through our vendors,” he said.
Sanjay Sharma, deputy chief executive officer, Ecogreen Energy, said they have resolved the issue with MCG and will resume work on Thursday morning. “The waste collection was affected at a few secondary points but the waste will be cleared completely overnight. There is no more dispute between the civic agency and us. We will ensure that residents do not face any inconvenience,” he said.
Nagarjuna Reddy, chief operating officer, Ecogreen Energy, said the MCG is yet to pay them around ₹34 crore and it has started affecting their cash flow. “Since November 2022, we have not been paid regularly and there are various expenses incurred by the company to ensure smooth operations. We are doing our best to ensure that operations continue to run smoothly,” he said.
But the impact of the standoff was visible in at least 30 spots across the city that have turned into garbage dumps over Tuesday and Wednesday.
Garbage was seen littered in market areas and waste collection points in Jharsa, Sector 37, Basai, Khandsa and Chakkarpur. The condition worsens when vehicles plying on the stretch run over the garbage and spread it around even more. People now fear contracting diseases from the rotting garbage.
Residents alleged that they had to pay extra to a private vendor to collect waste from houses and transport it to secondary points on Wednesday.
Vikas Bansal, a resident of Taksila apartments in Sector 37D, said he was forced to park his car at a distance as garbage was all over the stretch near his apartment complex. “The area near our society was stinking and there was no one to collect the waste. Hundreds of vehicles are moving on the stretch and the garbage had spilled on to the busy road,” he said.
Another resident of Sector 15 Part 2 said they are fed up with the poor garbage maintenance. “No one is bothered about cleanliness. Almost all roadsides have turned into garbage dumps. Despite several complaints to MCG officials, no action has been initiated,” said Sunil Rao, a businessman.
MCG officials said they will resolve the issue at the earliest and will ensure waste is collected from all spots within two days.