Covid-19 may have shut down Pune, but these Swach warriors are determined to keep the city clean
Some of them are also having tough time reaching their work areas as the PMPML bus service is limited and there is no other alternative for themUpdated: Mar 25, 2020 16:36 IST
Whilst we all are staying at home and working, apart from the medical practitioners who have to step out amid the Covid-19 outbreak, there are sanitation workers who are working tirelessly to keep the city clean.
However, waste pickers are facing problems while imparting their duty smoothly because of the lockdown in the city. According to Swach (Solid waste collection and handling- a cooperative of self-employed waste collectors and other urban poor) personnel, some of the waste pickers were gheraoed by the police at Patil estate and were not allowed to leave for their respective work places on Tuesday. Some of them are also having tough time reaching their work areas as the PMPML bus service is limited and there is no other alternative for them. Also, some societies in areas like Sinhgad road, Kothrud and Kalyaninagar have stopped them from coming inside their societies and are only giving their garbage to authorised Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) workers.
Harshad Barde, director, Swach, says, “There is an urgent need for a separate system of collection of waste from homes which are under quarantine and the plan should be worked upon immediately.”
“Our workers have informed us that some societies have asked them to not come for waste collection for the next 10 days. So, waste pickers are confused if they should continue to provide their services or not,” added Barde.
Mobility is also an issue that Swach as an organisation is trying to work out with the PMC to make sure that mobility of Swach waste pickers is not restricted.
“It will be good if residents allow the waste pickers to use the common society taps/water and soap, after garbage collection, as we are also at a great risk of getting infected with the Sars-Cov-2 virus,” added Ramzan Shaikh, working in Aundh area.
Many of the citizens said that they have kept the garbage outside their gates so that it is not a problem for garbage collection trucks in areas like Kalyaninagar, Baner, Balewadi, Pashan and Aundh.