Pause to Kanpur’s door-to-door garbage collection scheme

Scheme that helped city get PM award now locked in a money tussle.

Written by Lalmani Verma | Lucknow | Published: April 1, 2013 3:05 am

The door-to-door collection of solid waste in Kanpur for which the city received award for Improvement in Solid Waste Management (SWM) in Urban Infrastructure and Governance from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the year 2010 has now stopped operating. Problems created by the Kanpur Municipal Corporation are to be blamed behind the decision of the firm — M/s A2Z Infrastructure Ltd,which has the contract to collect waste and process it — to stop the operation.

According to the firm,the municipal corporation has failed pay the tipping fees totalling Rs 8 crore that has resulted into a financial crisis for the firm. “Our expenditure is around Rs 1.5 crore per month for paying salaries of staff and running the vehicles and processing plant. But due to delay in payment of the tipping fees from the municipal corporation,we had to reduce staff at the processing plant also,” said Sudhikant Tripathi,A2Z’s industrial relations officer.

The SWM project in Kanpur was initiated under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission scheme at the cost of Rs 56.23 crore on public-private partnership model. M/s A2Z Infrastructure Ltd bagged the contract and commissioned the processing plant in 2010. It started door-to-door collection of garbage,its transportation to a sanitary landfill site spread over 46 hectares,and its processing for producing bio-fertilizer bags,bricks and tiles from inorganic waste and refused derived fuel. The firm also set up a power plant of 15 MW generation capacity that is scheduled to be fully operational next month.

When the firm started operation in the city in 2010,it had nearly 2,000 staff to collect the municipal waste door-to-door in 110 municipal wards of Kanpur that generates nearly 1,500 tonne of municipal solid waste per day. Around 1,200 tonne of garbage was collected daily door-to-door till February 28 this year. But as door-to-door collection was stopped from March 1,only about 1,000 staff has work.

According to sources,the delay in payment to A2Z started after the change of government in UP and the new Samajwadi Party decided to re-examine the project. “The payment to the firm was regular in the previous BSP regime,” said an official.

As per the contract,A2Z collects user charges door-to-door and hands over the collected amount to the municipal corporation and get back tipping fees at the rate of Rs 470 per tonne. “But as we are not collecting municipal waste from users,we would not be able to collect also the user charges in April,” Tripathi said. He said the state government had notified user charges at the rate of Rs 30 per month for BPL families to Rs 1,000 per month for commercial buildings.

Tripathi said the company was now collecting waste from collection centres set up by municipal corporation and transporting that to processing plant. The situation has created problems before the residents who have to walk to the primary collection centres of municipal corporation to dump the garbage. Tripathi said the door-to-door collection has been stopped also in Varanasi because of delayed payments.

Meanwhile,Principal Secretary of Urban Development C B Paliwal said that he has sought a report on the issue from Kanpur Municipal Corporation. “I have received a letter from A2Z stating that it has some finance-related problems,and it has stopped door-to-door collection of garbage in Kanpur. I have sought a report from Kanpur Municipal Commissioner in this regard and matter would be solved very soon,” Paliwal said.

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