AFTER drawing flak from the Bombay High Court for poor management of the city’s solid waste, the civic administration has decided to rope in Advanced Locality Management (ALM) groups to implement mandatory segregation of waste in the city. Failing to enforce segregation of dry and wet garbage in their localities could lead to ALMs losing their recognition from the BMC, officials said.
As part of the new plan, separate garbage trucks have started picking dry and wet waste from the gates of residential buildings in some wards.
Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta directed the deputy and assistant municipal commissioners of all wards
to sensitise ALMs for segregation of garbage as a mandatory condition.
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“The ALMs who are given their powers and recognised by the BMC have increasingly forgotten their responsibilities and are instead becoming activists and are busy filing RTI applications. They will have to actively participate in the initiative of promoting waste segregation in every household. If they do not, they could lose their status as an ALM,” said a senior civic official.
The commissioner has also directed the deputy municipal commissioner overseeing the solid waste management department to eliminate all open garbage bins in the city by May.
Officials of various wards have reached out to their ALMs to formulate a plan of action to make waste segregation mandatory and to manage dry waste generated by societies.
Kiran Dighavkar, Assistant Municipal Commissioner of M East ward, said, “We have had meetings with different ALMs and are in the process of conducting joint visits. We have two segregation centres in our ward where dry waste is separated and then sold off to scrap dealers.” He added that he is planning to set up two more in his ward.
Similarly, Assistant Commissioner of H West Ward Sharad Ughade stated that they have planned weekly follow up meetings with the ALM members while Assistant Commissioner Ramakant Biradar of G North ward stated that they have two active ALMs and are in the process of holding meetings with the remaining.
Members of ALMs, though compliant, are sceptical of the successful implementation of this initiative since the BMC is yet to execute their plan of separate collection as well as door-to-door collection of waste on a mass level.
Rajkumar Sharma, member of an ALM in Chembur who has been actively participating in promoting waste segregation among fellow residents for a while now, stated that the BMC has no planning, and that this plan was only a reaction to the HC’s order. “The BMC has no record of ALMs and holds no meetings with them either. They discuss and plan all by themselves. We will be happy to segregate our garbage but the BMC doesn’t have the infrastructure to collect and process dry and wet waste separately,” he said.
In G North ward (Dadar area), separate trucks are collecting waste from around 60 buildings of the total 5000 buildings. In H West, door-to-door collection is in practice in 84 per cent of the houses while segregated waste is collected from 12-15 per cent of the houses.