Waste from your house will not be collected if it is not given in segregated form from October 11 onwards. As Chandigarh makes segregation of waste at household level mandatory, residents will have to pay fine ranging between Rs 200 and Rs 2000 of they fail to do so.
Mayor Rajesh Kalia told Chandigarh Newsline that all the waste collectors have been directed not to collect waste from those households which do not give segregated waste.
When asked if the Municipal Corporation has the sufficient infrastructure for the managing the segregated waste, including vehicles, the mayor said, “We will be getting new vehicles for it. As of now the garbage collectors have been told to keep two-coloured bins in their carts itself. And same the two-coloured bins will be placed at the Sehaj Safai Kendra as well.”
The mayor further said that a meeting was held with the Medical Officer of Health department as well. “Sanitation department staff will make surprise visits and fine will be imposed on both the waste collectors as well and the residents who do not give segregated waste,” he said.
‘Who will create awareness?’
Meanwhile, the councillors are questioning as to who will create awareness among people even as they can play a big role in making residents aware of the waste segregation. They are also against imposing fines from the first day itself.
The city residents also wary of making the segregation mandatory before the making people aware of its importance.
Baljinder Singh Bittu, Chairman of the Federation of Sectors welfare associations of Chandigarh said , “ What are these councillors doing then? Why can not they create awareness? They can go door to door seeking votes but they cannot go door to door to request people to do waste segregation.”
Bittu added that the corporation also needs to have proper infrastructure before making things mandatory.
“We are ready to segregate waste but what is the use when these people mix the same later. The garbage collector or the ones at sehaj safai Kendra mix the segregated waste,” Bittu said.
Congress Councillor Devinder Singh Babla said that the attempt will be a failure again.
“They cannot manage anything. The entire process requires creating awareness. It is just that they want to impose fine on people,” Babla said.
Former Mayor and BJP Councillor Arun Sood said that fines should not be imposed from day one itself.
“Our Residents welfare associations are creating awareness in the ward. Atleast the fine should not be imposed from the first day itself. Our aim is not to punish people but to inculcate the habit of segregating waste,” Sood said.
Several deadlines set, all missed
It was on June 5, 2017 that the civic body inaugurated waste segregation in the city with much fanfare. They had decided to make it compulsory by October 2, 2017. The next deadline 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 has missed another deadline.
Rs 3 crore spent on two-coloured dustbins
A whopping amount of Rs 3 crore was spent on purchasing the twin-coloured bins – blue and green – to distribute among city residents for waste segregation. Residents had even claimed that the bins were not of a particular size but the civic body went on to purchase them.
In order to enforce segregation, the civic body had decided to take over the garbage collection. Door-to-door garbage collection in Chandigarh is done by independent garbage collectors and they are not under the civic body. The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, on the lines of the one in Indore, had decided to take over the collection which led to protests by garbage collectors. SC councillors, particularly present Mayor Rajesh Kalia, had opposed the MC’s decision and joined garbage collectors in their protests.
When the civic body in September last year decided to take over garbage collection, the collectors went on a strike. As the deadlock continued for over 15 days, the MC had to succumb and independent collectors were asked to resume services. Later in November, the officers were asked to bring the detailed agenda again, but SC councillors resisted and the house agreed to sign an MoU with independent garbage collectors to ensure segregation. The MoU has still not been put in place yet.