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Sunday, Nov 17, 2019

Poor waste management costs Gurugram Swachh rank

While Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) commissioner Yashpal Yadav acknowledged the city’s poor scoring in the service-level progress category, he blamed it on “miscommunication” with the surveyors.

gurgaon Updated: Mar 11, 2019 04:13 IST
Kartik Kumar
Kartik Kumar
Hindustan Times, Gurugram
In the Swachh Survekshan 2019, three cities of Haryana, Karnal, Rohtak, and Panchkula, were ranked above Gurugram.
In the Swachh Survekshan 2019, three cities of Haryana, Karnal, Rohtak, and Panchkula, were ranked above Gurugram.(Yogendra Kumar/HT File PHOTO)
         

In the Swachh Survekshan 2019, three cities of Haryana, Karnal, Rohtak, and Panchkula, were ranked above Gurugram. An analysis of the survey scores shows that the primary reason why these cities scored above the state’s richest district was its poor score under the service-level progress category, which assesses the basic waste collection and processing capacity of a city.

The category covers services such as door-to-door collection of waste, segregation of waste at source, collection and transportation of waste, waste pickers integrated into sustainable livelihoods, social benefits to sanitary workers, twice-a-day sweeping, beautification of slums, percentage of wet waste treated, percentage of dry waste treated or recycled, management of C&D waste, remediation of waste dump sites, number of bulk waste generators, number of houses processing wet waste at home, percentage of closed sewage connection, number of household toilets with direct water supply, number of toilets opened between 4 am-10pm, penalties on open urination/defecation/ littering among other measures.

While Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) commissioner Yashpal Yadav acknowledged the city’s poor scoring in the service-level progress category, he blamed it on “miscommunication” with the surveyors.“There seems to be a miscommunication with the surveyors as the MCG has far better services then what is reflected in the scoring. We will be reviewing the scoring in this category next week to ascertain if there were indeed failings on our side,” said Yadav.

However, officials privy to the matter, on the condition of anonymity, conceded that the main reason for the enormous difference between Gurugram’s performance and that of Karnal’s was due to latter having better infrastructure to process municipal waste.

Karnal is the only city in Haryana with a WTE (waste-to-energy) plant, which was established in February 2018. It is also the first city in the state to have e-toilets (since August 2015). Both these facilities were yet to be introduced in Gurugram.

MCG officials added that the primary reason why Gurugram performed worse than Rohtak and Panchkula “was not due to their own performance, but due to lack of efficient waste management in Gurugram”. They cited lack of remediation of waste dump sites, C&D waste management, lack of night sweeping, and e-toilets as some of the factors for the Millennium City faring poorly in comparison to the three other cities.

“The city produces nearly 600 tonnes of C&D waste on a daily basis, almost all of it remains untreated. A C&D plant has been in the planning stage since 2008. In addition, unlike Karnal where the local civic body has been able to set up a WTE plant, in Gurugram the site at Bandhwari remains defunct since 2013. In addition, erratic door-to-door collection and transportation of waste, unclean public toilets, and lack of comprehensive night sweeping resulted in the city lagging significantly in the service-level progress category,” a senior MCG official, privy to the matter, said.

Although Gurugram scored similar points to Karnal, Rohtak, and Panchkula in other categories (see box), there was a stark difference in the service-level progress category.

However, recent decisions by the MCG may indicate the civic body is looking to rectify its poor performance in providing basic services to the citizens.

On February 25, during the MCG’s 2019-2020 budget meeting, the civic body allocated funds for the social welfare of ragpickers, developing bulk waste generators and closed sewage connections. The MCG also initiated a week-long sanitation marathon where 2,500 workers worked continuously for 168 hours.