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Monday, Oct 21, 2019

543 housing societies get PMC notice for making a mess of wet waste

Societies failed to comply with norms which necessitate that every commercial establishment or residential complex producing 100kg or more wet waste treat it on its own premises

pune Updated: May 29, 2018 14:31 IST
Parth Welankar
Parth Welankar
Hindustan Times, Pune
Ajanta Avenue society in Kothrud received a notice from PMC for failing to treat its wet waste.
Ajanta Avenue society in Kothrud received a notice from PMC for failing to treat its wet waste.(Sanket Wankhade/HT PHOTO)

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has served notices to 543 residential societies across the city for failing to process or treat their wet garbage.

According to the Municipal solid wastes (management and handling) rules, 2000, if a society produces 100 kilogrammes of wet garbage or more in a day, it is mandatory for them to treat the waste within society premises. Societies that treat their wet waste will also receive a five per cent property tax exemption.

Despite the rule and the tax exemption, 543 residential societies from various parts of the city have failed to treat their wet garbage, inviting action from the civic body.  

Suresh Jagtap, joint municipal commissioner and head of solid waste management department, PMC, promised to take strict action against societies that do not comply with the Rules, and said, “We have served notices to 543 societies and we will take strict action against them.” 

According to Jagtap, there are three notices that the civic body will send to the errant societies before pursuing legal action. “We have already served the second notice to these societies and have warned them that PMC will stop collecting waste if a wet waste treatment system is not created within the society. If they fail to comply with the norms, we will stop collecting waste from their premises,” said Jagtap. 

The Rules has been in force from September, 2000, and local bodies are required to ensure that solid waste generated in the area is managed in accordance with its provisions relating to collection, segregation, storage, transportation, processing and disposal of waste.

Sanjay Dhanwat, divisional sanitary inspector of Hadpsar, said, “While on one the hand, residents want the city to be clean and smart, on the other, they refuse to cooperate with us and follow established norms to help keep the city clean. We have sent notices to many societies in our division, but they have chosen to ignore these warnings.” 

An official from the PMC, on the condition of anonymity, said, “Often our notices are ignored as the local corporator in the respective areas comes out in support of the society residents. The elected representatives try to influence civic authorities and we are asked to refrain from taking legal action. Only if these pressure tactics are stopped, will we be able to function properly, and abide by the rules and regulations.”

Residents react

Residents of housing societies from Aundh, which have been served notices by Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), are unhappy with the civic body’s actions. Many societies and buildings which were constructed before 2000 were served notices from the civic body, even though the law states that action will only be taken against those built after 2000.

Sujata Patil, committee member, Sylvan Heights, said that the society has been sending wet garbage to the national chemical laboratory (NCL) for composting.

“We have written a letter to PMC stating that the wet garbage composter in our society is not working and that we are sending it to NCL for composting. Despite the letter, we have still been served the notice,” said Sujata.

“We are in the process of setting up a wet garbage composter. After several meetings with the ward office, we have opted for a PMC approved contractor, but the work is slow and we have just set up the pits. Once this is done, all the wet garbage will be composted at source,” said Vinod Nagvankar, treasurer of Surabhi Park Society on Nagras road in Aundh.

Prashant Dharmadhikari, a resident of Sai Heritage, said, “We are in the process of making compost and our pits are full. Hence, our composter is not operational. Yet, we have still been served a notice.”

“Most of these societies generate more than 100 kilogrammes of wet garbage per day. We have already served them the first notice asking them to set up wet garbage treatment systems. If they continue to flout norms, we will issue a penalty,” said Vijay Bhoir, divisional health inspector, Aundh.

He added, “Those societies which have defunct composters were also issued notices. They were also informed that once they install them, they need to intimate the ward office. We have regular rounds in the area to check whether societies have composters and whether they are being used.”

First Published: May 29, 2018 14:20 IST

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