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Work on new system on track, says mayor on waste collection

Hindustan Times spoke to mayor Davesh Moudgil about the civic body’s plans to fix the problem.

punjab Updated: Oct 06, 2018 13:16 IST
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
mayor,Davesh Moudgil,garbage collectors
Mayor Davesh Moudgil. (Anil Dayal/HT)

The city recently faced a crisis when private garbage collectors went on strike to protest against the decision of the municipal corporation (MC) to take control of the waste collection system. Hindustan Times spoke to mayor Davesh Moudgil about the civic body’s plans to fix the problem.

The residents have been criticising the MC for initiating the waste management programme without planning. What do you have to say to that?

There has been a lot of misinformation about recent events. The MC general house on September 14 had decided to bring in a new model of waste collection with a rider that private waste collectors will continue to work till the new system is in place and later they will be absorbed in the MC. Since they (collectors) had already launched the strike we had to bring in a temporary system through trolleys to collect door-to-door waste so that city does not stink. We withdrew these vehicles after waste collectors came for talks last week and resumed work after we made them understand what we had planned. Our reforms are very much on track.

How does the MC’s new waste collection system work?

MC will buy 250 twin bin garbage tippers to collect waste from 2.5 Lakh households, besides setting up eight to ten transfer stations. The entire garbage will come to these centres before being transported to the processing plant through big compactors. We expect to complete this process within three months

What if the waste collectors refuse to be a part of the system as indicated by some of their leaders after resuming work?

A seven-member delegation of the waste collectors has clearly given it in writing during last week’s negotiations that they will support MC’s new system.

We are not rigid about (rules) for the betterment of the city but those changes will be within the contours of last month’s general house decision.

The waste collectors are also under the impression that they will be allowed to sell recyclable waste. Is there any truth to it?

There is no commitment so far. The matter is under consideration and the same will be discussed in the general house meeting. Whatever the house decides will be implemented.

Are you confident that they (waste collectors) will come on board?

The MC is not only trying to improve waste management in the city. It wants private waste collectors get mainstream jobs by absorbing them in MC rolls as drivers and helpers. They will get better salaries and medical facilities here.

In case of problems at a later stage, is there a possibility of regulating them through some cooperative society model?

The general house has already given its approval to a new model which is based on a system adopted by Indore, India’s cleanest city. This model is robust and will definitely help in making the city garbage free.

Local residents also have reservations about MC’s new model. They say the MC vehicles will not reach the upper floors (in multi-storey buildings) and will be inconvenient.

Reforms are a continuous process. We are open to changes and deliberations as we move towards execution. Conditions in Chandigarh are definitely different than in Indore. Local factors will be considered during implementation.

The MC announced waste segregation from October 2, but the old system still exists.

The city residents are cultured, well-behaved and law abiding citizens. They understand their responsibilities. I am very confident that they appreciate the role they have to play in this direction. As far as waste collectors are concerned, they have given it to us in writing that they will collect segregated waste till the new MC system comes in place. I have been told that they have partitioned their rehris (carts) and begun collecting waste in segregated format. We will definitely streamline it in the near future.

Will the MC start fining residents from December 2 if they do not segregate waste, as announced by the MC?

At the very outset, the MC will try to make the residents aware of segregating waste before disposal and simultaneously strengthen the waste management system. Imposition of fine will be the last option to be adopted.

Waste segregation and collection is not the only problem. How do you plan to dispose of and process the segregated waste if the Jaypee Group refuses to do it?

The MC is making alternate arrangements at the dumping ground for processing of waste in case Jaypee refuses to do so.

Is the composting plant in place for managing wet waste?

A 300 MTD (metric tonnes daily) capacity compost plant is already in place for processing wet waste at the Dadumajra plant.

What about the existing garbage dump in Dadumajra? When will that start getting processed?

Expression of interest has already been invited for bio-mining technology to be adopted for the processing of whole waste. Several companies have shown interest. I am sure work will start soon.

What about bins in public places? As per the new notification, there has to be one every 50 metres. When will these be put in place?

MC has identified the total number of twin bins to be placed in the public places. Some will be provided by GAIL shortly and the remaining will be purchased by the MC. The twin bins will be installed in public places within one month.

What about litter bugs in the city? When will you start imposing fines and have you put any mechanism in place?

MC is regularly challaning the litter bugs and according to a notification issued by it a fine of ₹5,500 is imposed for littering in residential areas and ₹10,500 for commercial areas. This fine is now being increased in draft solid waste management bylaws.

First Published: Oct 06, 2018 13:13 IST