Swachhata jingles, along with announcements by Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (MC) staff, will now onwards alert residents that garbage-collection trolleys have reached their respective lanes, even as waste collectors continue with their strike. At least 52 tractor trolleys, two in each ward, were flagged off by the MC Wednesday to collect garbage from residential areas across the city. The number will increase to 71, Thursday onwards.
With the city’s garbage collectors on strike, the civic body, as a stop-gap arrangement has hired 30 tractor trolleys, in addition to 22 of its own, costing Rs 84,000 per day. One trolley costs Rs 2,800 daily. The rental includes one driver and helper, along with fuel charges. Though the corporation will come out with a detailed plan of fixed timings for garbage collection in each sector in the coming days, the collection will begin from 9 am on Thursday. The trolleys will keep making rounds of the sectors till sunset.
A total of 104 personnel have been deployed with the trolleys, including 52 policemen. Mayor Davesh Moudgil said that till the garbage collection process is streamlined no fee will be charged from the residents. The garbage collectors, who continue to remain on strike against MC’s decision of taking over waste collection in the city, used to charge Rs 100-200 per household, per month.
Congress councillors have, however, raised questions on the MC’s garbage collection mechanism. Congress councillor Devinder Singh Babla said it would be difficult for elderly residents to walk up to the trolley and drop in their garbage. “Earlier residents would just keep their bins outside their houses and garbage collectors would lift it. Now, if an aged person is at home, in the first place he/she will have to keep waiting as to what time the jingles will be heard in his/her locality, then take the heavy garbage bins to the place where the trolleys will be stationed. The MC should have first formulated a proper plan before taking over the garbage collection,” Babla said.
Municipal Commissioner K K Yadav told Chandigarh Newsline it won’t be feasible to knock the doors of every resident. “Thus, the provision of public announcement system and that of playing jingles has been made. Until all the residents of the lane are not covered, we will keep making the announcements,” said Yadav. On hiring 30 trolleys, he said, “We can not leave the city in a situation of an epidemic. None of the garbage collectors came even once to negotiate with us. I feel the rental per trolley is nominal. Even otherwise, we have no other option, but to bear this expense to keep the city clean,” Yadav added.
Mayor Moudgil said that until they are not purchasing twin bin hopper tipper, they will have to carry on with this system. The MC plans to purchase 13 such tippers, each costing around Rs 6.5 lakh. “Our vehicles will collect the waste and directly transport it to garbage processing plant. When we are offering jobs to the private garbage collectors, they should not have any problem with it,” Moudgil said.
A number of protesting garbage collectors were detained on Wednesday again for trying to halt the MC vehicles from transporting waste to the dumping site in Dadumajra. Executive engineers of engineering wing, sub-divisional engineers, junior engineers, chief sanitary inspectors and sanitary inspectors have been deployed to supervise this work under the overall supervision of zonal officers – the special commissioner, both additional commissioners and joint commissioner.
Five other vehicles have been deployed by the MC at particular sectors after residents and officials complained about heaps of garbage piling up. The MC has given a helpline number – 155304 – for receiving complaints about heaps of garbage. These vehicles are also cleaning up the Sehaj Safai Kendras.