February 1, 2021 2:40:09 am
Amid protests by garbage collectors right outside the venue, a meeting of the Chandigarh Residents’ Association Welfare Federation (CRAWFED) on the waste collection issue was held in the presence of Mayor Ravi Kant Sharma. The meeting was held at Sector 22’s community centre under chairmanship of Hitesh Puri.
The agenda of the meeting was discussion and clarification on door-to-door garbage collection in Chandigarh. The chief guest was Ravikant Sharma. While the meeting was going on, protesting waste collectors gathered outside with their family members and agitated against the new system implemented by the municipal corporation.
In December last year, the civic body had implemented waste collection by its own vehicles in sectors 1 to 30.
CRAWFED chairman Puri gave a memorandum to the mayor regarding issues related to door-to-door collection of garbage in Chandigarh. He said the residents at large are satisfied with the old system of garbage collection, as per which rehriwalas have been coming to picking garbage for the past many years.
In case the new system is to be implemented, he requested that the garbage collectors be employed. He appealed to the garbage collectors to instead try and resolve the matter through discussion, as “residents are always on the receiving end and have to face great difficulty”.
He said that presently, the residents are paying very reasonable amount for getting garbage lifted from their doorsteps. “Now, with the new system, there is a fear that the municipal corporation might charge a hefty amount from them in water bills, which may cause hardship to fixed income group,” Puri said.
He requested that the existing monthly charges not be changed.
Puri also pointed out that in about 20 per cent households, there are only working couples residing, who leave their houses by 9 am, and thus timely lifting becomes essential.
Rajat Malhotra, general secretary, CRAWFED, said that residents across Chandigarh, especially those living in housing board flats and societies, are enjoying the facility of getting garbage lifted from their doorsteps for the past many years.
“Now residents fear that with starting of new system where trucks of Municipal Corporation will come to collect garbage in their locality, they will have to go to the truck and dispose of garbage there,” Malhotra said.
He requested to make arrangements of getting garbage collected from every householders door step as per the old system for the convenience of service class, senior citizens, and residents living on first, second and top floors of the flats.
Malhotra also asked how these trucks can enter villages and colonies where streets are very narrow. He also said that in the past few years, there have been frequent strikes by garbage collectors. In such a case, he requested the mayor to have an alternative system ready so that the residents do not suffer.
G S Ahluwalia, senior vice-chairman, CRAWFED, took up the matter of monthly charges to be paid to garbage collectors. He said that in 2017, rates were fixed by the civic body, but never implemented. Dr Anish Garg, chief spokesperson, CRAWFED, also pointed out that, “we have about 2.5 lakh residential kitchens in Chandigarh”.
“It is in everyone’s mind how 390 trucks can lift garbage every day from every household timely. He said a few garbage collectors are still on strike, MC should also talk with them and listen to their genuine demands,” he said.
Mayor Ravi Kant Sharma took up all the points one by one raised in the meeting.
He said, “This new system is because of the NGT’s directions. MC had given three years’ time to garbage collectors to come out with proposal for lifting garbage according to guidelines of NGT. As they did not submit any concrete proposal, MC had to buy new vehicles and started collecting garbage.”
He assured that already existing persons who have got themselves registered with MC will get jobs and they will get the amount they were getting earlier when they were collecting waste themselves.
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