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Protests and confusion mar Chandigarh civic body’s waste collection on day one

Residents said that at a majority of places, there was no waste collection -- neither by new MC vehicles nor by the old independent garbage collectors.

Written by Hina Rohtaki | Chandigarh | December 23, 2020 8:40:30 am
Protests and confusion mar Chandigarh civic body’s waste collection on day oneGarbage collection workers protest near Governor House on Tuesday. (Express photo by Jasbir Malhi)

The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation’s waste collection in sectors 1 to 30 took off amid confusion and protests on day one. While some independent waste collectors protested and tried to stall the new MC twin-bin hoppers that were going around to spread awareness after the launch, in some areas waste collection couldn’t take place.

In the evening, the MC said that vehicles will begin waste collection from 7 am Wednesday as they just spread awareness on Tuesday.

However, residents said that at a majority of places, there was no waste collection — neither by new MC vehicles nor by the old independent garbage collectors.

Municipal Commissioner K K Yadav said that vehicles will begin waste collection in said sectors from 7 am onwards on Wednesday.

“Today, it was launched around 12 noon. So waste collection would be from tomorrow. I make an appeal to residents to cooperate with the Municipal Corporation. Initially, for 10-15 days, there will be some teething problems. But we are making efforts and everything will be on track,” Yadav said.

On the issue of elderly staying on first and second floors having apprehensions that they will have to come down and walk a distance to the MC vehicles to dispose of the waste, the Municipal Corporation Commissioner said, “There will be helpers with the MC vehicles that will come and collect waste for such people who need help. It will take some time for the vehicle of the area to study which all people are staying and who all require help,” he said.

Regarding the independent waste collectors who were protesting, the Municipal Corporation Commissioner said, “There are just one or two rival groups. Else most of the independent waste collectors have joined us as drivers and helpers.”

Sushil Malhotra, general secretary, Government Houses RWS, Sector 22, said that on Tuesday he saw “only a group of vehicles moving very fast through streets of Sector 22 and no one came for door- to-door waste collection”.

In sectors 27 and 18, the previous informal waste collectors collected waste in their carts.

UT Administrator V P Singh Badnore, Tuesday flagged off the door-to-door waste collection vehicles from Punjab Raj Bhawan, Sector 6, Chandigarh.

Municipal Corporation Commissioner Yadav said that these vehicles will carry the waste from households to the transfer stations, from where the waste is transported to the garbage plant in loaders.

All vehicles used in the collection and transportation system are monitored by a GPS-enabled tracking system. The GPS system is monitored by the monitoring cell. Any route deviations by particular drivers are penalised and multiple deviations are also grounds for termination, the Commissioner added.

He said that the segregated waste, i.e. wet, dry and hazardous waste, from the domestic generators will be collected through newly deployed 97 vehicles on a daily basis, which will run on the streets of sectors 1 to 30, Chandigarh. He said that earlier, the MC had deployed 99 door-to-door waste collection vehicles, which are also running in the city to collect segregated waste from villages and some commercial areas of the city. In addition, 293 more vehicles will be deployed in a phased manner on delivery bases throughout the city to collect segregated waste from households.

Chandigarh has been divided into four zones and 26 wards. Each ward has on average 9,600 households and commercial establishments of the areas. In Chandigarh, waste is generated from various sources, including households, commercial areas and other institutions like RWAs, hospitals, and hotels among others. The households or residential complexes are covered by the door-to-door collection system while the semi-bulk and bulk generators are covered by the bulk collection system. With this facility, Chandigarh ensures 100% coverage of wards through its door-to-door segregated collection system by deploying all the 390 additional vehicles, the Commissioner added.

During the launch, the Administrator said that in order to successfully implement door-to-door collection of waste separately, i.e. wet and dry waste, the MC has deployed their own vehicles throughout the city, which will reduce the problem of mixed garbage collected at garbage plant.

He said that door-to-door collection will now be done through the use of partitioned vehicles, comprising three separate collection bins for wet, dry and domestic hazardous waste in each vehicle. He said that now Chandigarh can achieve top position in the Swachh Survekshan-2021 by ensuring 100% waste segregation in the city.

He asked the officers concerned to prepare a detailed vehicle and staff deployment plan based on the route plan in order to meet the waste collection demand of each ward.

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