An internal report of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has noted alleged fudging of figures by the concessionaire responsible for transportation of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) from receptacles (dhalaos or garbage dumps) to Sanitary Landfill Sites (SLFs), in a bid to seek higher remittance from the civic body.
According to civic officials, the concessionaire — Metro Waste Handling Private Limited — is paid Rs 1,023 per metric tonne for waste segregation and transportation of garbage. The committee’s report noted that trucks carrying between six to seven metric tonnes of waste by day were carrying 14 to 15 metric tons by night and, in a single case, they had purportedly carried 91 metric tons. “This activity is primarily done in the night time/wee hours of the day,” the report noted.
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On September 17, a team of officials from the corporation’s vigilance, quality control and environment management service departments had visited the West Zone of the SDMC for a surprise check and intercepted trucks carrying municipal waste to the Bhalaswa landfill site.
“It appears that the outside trucks (on hire) are engaged in carrying garbage, which is mixed with building rubbish or is pure building rubbish, as the weight in the range of 15 tons cannot be made up of pure municipal solid waste,” the report states.
Earlier this month, the apex court had advised the departments concerned with the prevention of vector borne diseases to intensify efforts to contain the spread of the disease. The Lieutenant Governor’s office had also urged the civic bodies to empty the receptacles at least twice a day and keep their surroundings clean.
The Congress Friday demanded a CBI inquiry into the activities of the concessionaire over the entire time period of its engagement with the SDMC. “If the average capacity of a truck is about four to seven MT, how can they pack it by up to 16 MT? This cannot be done without political collusion,” said Leader of the Opposition, Congress leader Farhad Suri.
He said that segregation of waste and maintenance of the receptacles are part of the concessionaire’s contract and “it stands in gross violation of the agreed terms.” Suri alleged that the concessionaire is duping the corporation by up to Rs 50,000 a day. “That is Rs 50,000 per day for the last nine years,” he said.
The 31 receptacles the SDMC team visited were all found to be in, according to the report, “dilapidated condition with garbage stacked outside”. No attendants were present at any receptacle, also a contract requirement.
Meanwhile, General Manager at Metro Waste Handling, P K Sharma, told The Indian Express that it is the municipal corporation that weighs the vehicles. “If the figures are incorrect, it is not our responsibility. Additionally, they give us an MSW slip. If there is CND (construction and demolition waste) in our trucks, they cannot give us an MSW slip.”
The BJP has asked the SDMC Commissioner to conduct an inquiry into the findings of the report. “The company is only working on extension, since no vendors came forth for our new tenders. We have asked the commissioner to conduct an inquiry, said leader of the House, Subhash Arya.