Ghaziabad gets 122 crore for solid waste management and sanitation

Published on Nov 15, 2022 10:42 PM IST

The last time the Ghaziabad city received FFC funds of ₹121 crore (for fiscal 2020-21) the funds were to split equally for implementing pollution abatement measures and solid waste improvement. However, this time, no amount has been set aside for pollution abatement

Ghaziabad generates an estimated 1,200 metric tonnes of solid waste daily. (Sakib Ali/HT Photo)
Ghaziabad generates an estimated 1,200 metric tonnes of solid waste daily. (Sakib Ali/HT Photo)

The directorate of Uttar Pradesh urban bodies has released funds of 720 crore to “seven million-plus” cities in the state and, accordingly, an amount of 122 crore has been sent to Ghaziabad as grant from the Fifteenth Finance Commission (FFC) for the fiscal 2022-23. The officials of the Ghaziabad municipal corporation said the funds are meant exclusively for solid waste management (SWM) and sanitation.

The last time the Ghaziabad city received FFC funds of 121 crore (for fiscal 2020-21) the funds were to split equally for implementing pollution abatement measures and solid waste improvement. However, this time, no amount has been set aside for pollution abatement. However, the Commission of Air Quality Management has approved a sum of 15 crore for Ghaziabad for pollution abatement, officials said.

“The funds of 122 core for 2022-23 will be largely dedicated to SWM activities and sanitation. Our regular works will consume about 70-80 crore. With the rest of the funds, we intend to take care of the legacy waste dumped at Indirapuram and develop solid waste transfer stations in each of the five corporation zones. This year, no amount has been earmarked for air pollution abatement but SWM related works may also help in abatement of air pollution,” said Nitin Gaur, municipal commissioner.

The official on November 11 had said the corporation has about 45 crore funds pending from the previous FFC allotment.

“The pending funds and the fresh funds received will be diverted for projects and the committee of officials will decide on projects and spending,” Gaur said.

The FFC funds for “seven million-plus” cities is intended towards improving drinking water quality and supply (including rainwater harvesting and recycling), sanitation and achieving star ratings in SWM, among others. Apart from Ghaziabad, the cities of Meerut, Agra, Prayagraj, Lucknow, Varanasi and Kanpur will also get funds from the FFC.

The councillors on the other hand said the decisions on the latest funds should be made in a timebound and transparent manner.

“The city is in dire need to improve its door-to-door waste collection and segregation of waste, along with transportation and processing. We also need to remove roadside garbage and silt taken out from drains. So, proper evaluation of processes is required and funds should be allocated accordingly,” said Rajendra Tyagi, councillor from Raj Nagar.

The city generates an estimated 1,200 metric tonnes of solid waste daily.

Environmentalists said if the funds are not spent or utilised carefully, the city may not get more funds in the future.

“Proper disclosures ought to be made regarding the spending of previous funds. A proper audit is required. Further, before deciding the spending, proper technical evaluation and cost-benefit analysis is required. Otherwise, the funds get wasted and city lags behind in the Swachh Survekshan,” said Akash Vashishtha, a city-based environmentalist.

The city at present is heavily relying on two garbage factories, at Sihani and Ret Mandi, for processing daily solid waste. The waste to energy plant in Galand (in Hapur district), which was proposed three years ago, is yet to come up.

“We have sought help from district officials in Hapur to provide us police protection when we construct a boundary wall around the land in Galand. Once they provide the force, we will start with construction of the boundary wall,” the municipal commissioner added.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Peeyush Khandelwal writes on a range of issues in western Uttar Pradesh – from crime, to development authorities and from infrastructure to transport. Based in Ghaziabad, he has been a journalist for almost a decade.

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