The Chandigarh residents who do not segregate household waste will be charged a fine, ranging from Rs 200 to Rs 20,000, from the coming week. The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation which collects the fine, had halted drive in view of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Medical Officer of Health Dr Amrit Warring said that special teams will be constituted and the drive to impose fines will be intensified. “The drive was given a break due to the Covid-19 outbreak. We will start imposing fines from next week. Special teams are being constituted for the same,” he said. The MOH said that they will depute sector wise teams to inspect areas and check if residents or waste collectors carry out segregation properly. The waste collector will also be fined if segregation of waste is not carried out.
The city’s civic body had made waste segregation mandatory in Chandigarh from October 11, 2019. However, the directive remained confined to the papers– and neither the residents nor the waste collectors segregate the waste.
The National Green tribunal early this year had directed the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation to ensure 100 per cent waste segregation in the city by June 2020.
Several deadlines set
On June 5, 2017, the Chandigarh civic body had inaugurated the initiative of waste segregation in the city with much fanfare. They had decided to make the practice compulsory by October 2, 2017. The next deadline for the same was December 2017. The same scheme was rolled out yet again in 2018. A fresh deadline was set for October and then extended to December 2018. In 2019 itself, the civic body made waste segregation mandatory from October 11, however, on ground, not much was implemented.
It was stated that unless the drive to impose fine was not intensified, neither waste collectors nor residents would implement waste segregation.
Rs 3 crore spent on coloured dustbins
A whopping sum of Rs 3 crore was spent on purchasing twin-coloured bins – blue and green – to distribute among city residents for waste segregation. The residents had even claimed that the bins were not of the needed size but the civic body went on purchasing them.
The door-to-door garbage collection in Chandigarh is undertaken by independent garbage collectors and not the civic body. However, to strictly enforce segregation, the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation decided to take over the task of garbage collection, on the lines of the practice in Indore. The decision led to widespread protests by garbage collectors. SC councillors, particularly then Mayor Rajesh Kalia, opposed the MC’s decision and joined the garbage collectors in their protest.
As the deadlock continued for over 15 days, with the garbage collectors on strike, the MC succumbed to the demands and independent collectors were asked to resume services.
Later, in November, the officers were directed to table a detailed agenda in this regard again, however, SC councillors resisted and the house agreed to sign an
MoU with independent garbage collectors. Despite signing the MoU, the civic body’s intent was questioned by a section of collectors. Following the controversy, it was decided that twin bins and hopper-tipper vehicles would be purchased and the present garbage collectors would be hired for the same, under the Smart city project.
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