On the fourth anniversary of Swachhta Diwas on Tuesday, Chandigarh faced a garbage mess. For, garbage collectors who had called off their strike on Monday evening, didn’t lift garbage from the majority of the households. They stated that they would begin their work “properly” from Wednesday onwards.
Thinking that garbage collectors will carry out proper waste lifting on Monday, the Municipal Corporation too withdrew its tractor trolleys which were lifting the waste until the strike was on. Garbage was lifted only in parts of sectors 27, 28, 45, 46, 48, 49, 51 and 52, and it wasn’t segregated waste. The MC had decided to kick off waste segregation at household level from October 2.
Om Prakash Saini, who represented the garbage collectors’ union, stated that “the work will pick up slowly”. Saini added that the garbage collectors had to attend the Congress event which was organised for them because of which only these sectors could be covered partially.
“In fact, there was a Congress event for us. So most of our collectors had attended that. Moreover, it has been over 20 days of the strike, so mentally and physically they were tired. We all will begin from Wednesday,” Saini said adding that segregation will take place once the backlog is cleared.
Baljinder Singh Bittu, chairman of Federation of Sectors Welfare Associations of Chandigarh, said that city residents were suffering due to the mess. “We really don’t understand what is happening. Not a single door-to-door garbage collector came and lifted garbage in our sectors. At least the Municipal Corporation should have coordinated with them and carried out the operation jointly to clear the backlog in the first few days,” Bittu said.
BJP councillor Asha Jaswal said that she too had called up the garbage collectors to know when they would be coming as the garbage was all piled up. “They told me that since garbage has piled up in houses and even one resident is giving at least three-to-four sacks of waste,” she said. “What to talk of segregation? It will take at least seven days to clear the previous mess.”
Additional Commissioner Saurabh Mishra said that the door-to-door waste collection had been left to these garbage collectors now.
“They have been told to create awareness about segregation as well. We had already withdrawn our tractor-trolleys. Still, a few of our official vehicles were on the job of lifting garbage from areas where residents had dumped the trash and it had piled up,” he said.