Adar Poonawalla Clean City initiative: Bringing change where it matters most
The Adar Poonawalla Clean City (APCC) initiative is an extraordinary, passionately-driven mission to improve solid waste management in Pune and make our city cleaner and greener. It was launched in January 2015 by Adar Poonawalla, chief executive officer and executive director of Serum Institute of India, with a pledge of ~100 crore from his personal wealth.
The focus of this initiative is to support Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) with the collection of street waste. The APCC initiative is a massive, decentralised operation with 40 ‘parking’ areas and a staff of 350 people on ground, including supervisors, helpers, operators and drivers. This is besides 50 people in the back office.
Imported equipment, like battery-powered Glutton vacuum litter pickers, Trilo vacuum trucks and truck mounted with road sweepers have been deployed for the collection of roadside trash. Unlike municipal corporations across the country and NGOs working in the area of waste management, Adar Poonawalla has paid considerable attention to bring dignity to the task of waste collection and ensure that the conservancy staff is well-protected. Those on the field wear a uniform, a face mask and gloves.
Nearly 75 tons of garbage is cleared from the streets of Pune daily under the Adar Poonawalla Clean City Initiative.
A Hindustan Times team went on a field visit to take a closer look at this initiative. Vimannagar was the first locality from where this mission took off. The work here stretches from 7 am to 4 pm. The locality has been properly surveyed, and accordingly, APCC has deployed state-of-the-art equipment for quick and effortless trash collection. Near Phoenix Market City on Ahmednagar road, a mini pickup truck-mounted garbage tipper was seen collecting the accumulated waste piled up and strewn near the litter bins. Kharadi, which is in the eastern fringe of Pune city, has poor municipal services with a huge pile-up of garbage daily. “We need more than two rounds of our large trucks for this area, especially near the World Trade Centre buildings,” said supervisor Nikhil Paighan.
The trucks in use here are called the Trilo and are mounted with litter picking machines with an 8-inch pick up hose. Kondhwa in east Pune is densely populated and is the latest area to benefit from the APCC initiative. Here, the large and small Trilo are in use. “Waste is not segregated by the residents, and hence, we have to sort it out using trampoline sheets spread over the road so that nothing falls back on the ground,” said Pappu Ingulkar, a Trilo driver who also helps the picker to clear the garbage.
At Yerawada, another densely populated suburb of Pune, a truck mounted with vacuum assisted mechanical road sweeper was seen sweeping the wide roads in one swoosh. APCC officer, Farook Bangi, said, “This machine can clean 40 kms of road in one shift and is currently in use on the wider roads of Pune.”