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UN award for Pune municipal corporation’s solid waste management fails to impress activists

While waste segregation model wins international laurels, ground reality is that wet and dry garbage is being mixed by conservancy staff

pune Updated: Sep 18, 2018 13:45 IST
Parth Welankar
Parth Welankar
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,Pune municipal corporation,solid waste management
Citizen activists demand a complete overhaul of the garbage management system in the city. (HT PHOTO )

Following an investigative report in Hindustan Times pointing out serious deficiencies, corruption and inefficiency in Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) waste segregation model, activists and experts have demanded that the civic body scrutinise the entire process all over again and work on lacunas of the entire system.

On September 11, the Pune municipal corporation (PMC) was presented with the United Nations climate and clean air award, 2018, at San Francisco, for its innovative waste segregation model in partnership with Swach (Solid waste collection and handling).

An investigation by HT has, however, revealed a ground reality that is starkly in contrast: In many wards, dry and wet waste segregated diligently by housing societies and Swach wastepickers is being mixed by the civic conservancy staff.

The citizen activists have slammed PMC’s solid waste management department and have ‘rejected’ all the awards received by PMC in solid waste management. Major General SCN Jatar (retd), president of city-based NGO Nagrik Chetna Manch, said, “While transporting garbage from residential areas to dump yard, PMC workers collect garbage on road or collect it from some of the housing societies illegally. and hence the garbage gets mixed up again.”

The PMC must act tough on all the workers in the department responsible for the mixing up of the dry and wet garbage, said Jatar. Sanskriti Menon, member of centre for environment and education (CEE) said, “The purpose of dry and wet waste segregation gets affected when PMC garbage vehicles collect the unsegregated waste and mixes it with the segregated one.”

Sheila Christian, founder of National Society for Clean Cities (NSCC), holds PMC and Swach members responsible for the project’s failure. “While the housing societies do not follow the norms of segregating and composting waste at the source, PMC workers and Swach people continue to collect wet garbage from them,” she said. An official of NGO Swach said, “We do segregate the garbage. However, it gets mixed up eventually. The PMC must moniand should impose heavy fines on the workers responsible for the act.”

First Published: Sep 18, 2018 13:45 IST