Waste management in a mess, Lucknow growing by heaps and bounds!
‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness’ - we all hear this saying time and again, but only a few seem to understand its essence. Nothing explains this better than the fact that Lucknow is poorly ranked (28th) in the cleanliness index of Swacch Bharat Mission Survey – 2016.
Garbage heaps are dotting roadsides as Lucknow Municipal Corporation officials and public representatives don’t seem concerned about cleanliness of the city.
“Cleanliness is not really a choice, it is a duty... a moral responsibility,” says Bhaiyyaji a noted social worker.
Lucknow’s waste management is in a mess. Leave alone segregation of waste, even door-to-door collection of garbage is in a shambles. “Lucknow is still struggling to have any system in place for collection of garbage,” says noted environmentalist VK Joshi.
As a result, garbage is growing by heaps and bounds every day, be it Hazratganj, Chowk, Lalkuan, Hewett Road, Alambagh or Chander Nagar, , garbage removal is subject to the availability of sanitation workers on time.
LMC is armed with 90 trucks, 200 small vehicles, 2,700 handcarts, 49 bulldozers and 4,200 sanitation workers to lift 1,500 metric tons of garbage from streets. But it is still not able to keep the city clean.
No wonder then, Lucknow has failed to be amongst the top 20 cleanest cities of India - ranked 28th in the cleanliness index of Swacch Bharat Mission Survey – 2016, which is much better than 220th rank in 2015.
“This can be attributed to the absence of proper solid waste management system,” says five-time Congress corporator from Sardar Patel ward Girish Mishra.
As per LMC’s own estimates, Lucknow produces nearly 1,500 tonnes of solid waste daily that leads to about 45,000 tonnes of waste every month.
But to manage this, Lucknow only has one landfill site, which is yet to take final shape. The state has spent around Rs 150 crore on this site alone, but the results are still a big zero.
Bio- medical waste
Disposal of medical waste too remains a major concern in the city.
Around 968 nursing homes, diagnostic centres, laboratories, and blood banks are registered with the LMC. Besides private nursing homes, there are about 25 government hospitals, 2,500 private clinics and 450 pathological laboratories all over the city and all these contribute to biomedical waste.
The average per bed bio-medical waste generation in Lucknow ranges between 240 - 824 gm/bed/per day.
The maximum bio- medical waste generation is estimated to be 3.7 to 5 metric tonnes per day.
Barring SGPGIMS, KGMU and Balrampur Hospital no hospital has a perfect biomedical waste treatment plant, and the LMC’s treatment plant at Mohanlalganj has never been a success.
Segregation of waste into dry and wet waste is a standard international practice but it is yet to be implemented in the state capital. Proper segregation would help LMC handle the city’s refuse more efficiently — drastically reducing the amount that needs to be dumped at landfills, and promoting micro-management of waste at housing societies, schools and hospitals, feel experts. For this, LMC is planning to distribute green and red dustbins for inorganic and organic waste.
Ideal path for garbage
Ideally, the garbage must be segregated into organic and inorganic waste but this practice is yet to start here. The door-to-door garbage collection is weak in the city. Besides, LMC trucks have been dumping waste in nearby secluded places instead of dumping the same at Shivri plant.
Huge amount spent
During last 10 years, LMC has spent more than Rs 500 crore for keeping the city clean but has failed to keep the city’s best of markets like Hazratganj, Aminabad and Chowk clean despite pumping in huge amounts on their upkeep.
Singapore trip gone waste?
Around six years, back all corporators and officials of LMC went on a ‘study trip’ to Singapore -- one of the most cleanest countries in the world, but no one tried to implement even 10% of what they saw in Singapore.
Additional municipal commissioner PK Srivastava says, “The Shivri solid waste treatment plant, which was constructed under PPP model, was expected to start in 2010 but it became functional in 2016 -- that too at half strength. Stated to be one of the best plants in the country, it failed to take off because the company Jyoti Envirotech never tried to run it in a professional way. Hence it is handed over to a Chinese company Ecogreen just a month back.