Ludhiana’s legacy waste to affect it’s rankings in Swachh Survekshan
At a time when the municipal corporation (MC) is struggling with solid waste management, its failure in disposing of over 16 lakh metric tonnes of legacy waste and inability to ensure waste segregation at source is expected to affect its rankings in Swachh Survekshan-2021.
The inspections for this competition are held in the month of March across the country. The third party, which has been roped in for the inspections, is expected to reach Ludhiana this week.
Cities are ranked on various criteria, including segregated collection, processing and disposal of waste and sustainable sanitation (2,400 marks), garbage-free city (6,000 marks) and ODF status (1,800 marks). Similarly, 30% marks (1, 800 marks) is also reserved for citizen’s feedback, engagement, experience, swachhta app and innovation.
After the dismal performance in Swachh Survekshan 2020, wherein the city was ranked at the 34th position out of 47 cities with over 10 lakh population, the civic body has been working hard to improve its ranking. However, different projects mooted to deal with legacy waste have been hanging fire for years and waste segregation has also not been achieved in many parts of the city.
The MC has also failed to come up with a waste plant for treating construction and demolition waste.
Adding to the woes of the civic body, A2Z company left the work in the city on February 4 after serving a self-termination notice. The MC is yet to sign a contract with a new firm and has made stop-gap arrangements by signing an agreement with a third party to whom A2Z had sublet the work of lifting garbage from the city. As A2Z company was running the refuse derived fuel (RDF) plant to dispose of the fresh garbage generated on a daily basis, the plant has come to a halt and over 100 metric tonnes of garbage is being accumulated at the site in addition to over 16 lakh metric tonnes of legacy waste that has accumulated over the last decade or so.
The MC is also yet to install static compactors under the smart city mission and there are over 40 open secondary dump sites in the city where the garbage is discarded by household waste collectors. The Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) had however installed compactors at Sarabha Nagar (Block J), Hambran road and Rishi Nagar among a few other areas.
MC Commissioner Pardeep Sabharwal said that the MC is working to rope in a new contractor for solid waste management and tenders will be floated soon. “The legacy waste will also be disposed off. Waste segregation is being at most parts of the city and MC staff, including the senior officials, are on ground to keep a check on the same. Challans are also being issued to the violators especially those polluting Buddha Nullah. All efforts are being made to improve the rankings under Swachh Survekshan 2021.”
MC makes last-ditch efforts
With Swachch Survekshan inspections drawing near, the civic body is making last-ditch efforts to improve its scores.
MC commissioner Pardeep Sabharwal conducted a meeting with the officials of MC’s health branch at Zone A office on Monday and directed officials to regularly check the attendance of sweepers and sewermen. Further, it was also decided to hold ‘swachhta’ activities every Sunday and conduct competitions like ‘Main bhi hoon Swachhta Superstar’.
Sanitary inspector and chief sanitary inspectors have also been deployed to ensure that only segregated waste is collected from houses and dumped at secondary dumping sites.
Sabharwal said that apart from conducting competitions between the residents’ welfare associations and youth clubs, the MC will also be appointing brand ambassadors under Swachh Bharat mission. Demonstrations will also be done to promote home compositing.
MC will also be issuing challans for failure to segregate waste, indulging in littering, use and sale of plastic carry bags among other violations.
The amount of challan may range from ₹250 to ₹5, 000, depending on the category of property and violation done by the owner. A challan of ₹250 will be issued to residents if they fail to hand over segregated waste to the waste collector. Challans upto ₹20, 000 will be issued on sale of plastic carry bags and for burning garbage, challans upto ₹25, 000 will be imposed.