With no breakthrough in convincing the agitating villagers of Uruli Devachi and Phursungi to allow disposal of waste at the dumping ground located within their villages, the situation across the city turned worse with around 3,000 tonnes of waste accumulating in the open civic bins.
Mayor Chanchala Kodre along with local legislators were supposed to meet chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, urging the state government to intervene and resolve the situation. However, the chief minister and deputy chief minister had to cancel their city visit and the meeting couldn’t take place.
The villagers have stopped the PMC garbage vehicles from depositing waste at the dumping site since Wednesday. The Shiv Sena, led by legislator Vijay Shivtare, launched the agitation against the civic body for continuing to dump waste at the dumping site which falls in the two villages.
With the agitation continuing, the civic administration could not lift the waste piled up across the city. “There is no place to deposit the waste so the vehicles are not plying. Around 3,000 tonnes of waste is uncollected and lying at the open garbage bins across the city,” said a civic officer.
He said that efforts were being made to ensure there is no inconvenience to citizens due to piling up of waste, adding that the civic staff at the ward level have been asked to manage the waste at bins.
Around 1,600 tonnes of waste is generated every day in the city and it has been increasing everyday The PMC administration has been able to process 600 tonnes of its wet waste at vermiculture plants and biogas plants but is unable to dispose of the remaining 1,000 tonnes waste due to the ongoing agitation.
The civic administration has directed its staff to not collect wet waste from societies with more than 50 apartments, and urge the society to take responsibility for its disposal. Also, the housing societies availing rebate in property tax for starting vermiculture projects will have to handle their own waste.
According to agitators, the civic administration has been merely giving assurance of stopping the open dumping of waste. “The PMC processing plants are not fully operational and not much efforts are being made to increase the waste processing capacity. The assurance of setting up plants in various parts of city has not been fulfilled. As a result the two villages are suffering,” said Shivtare.
The villagers had last launched an agitation before lok sabha elections and with the intervention of former union minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar, had withdrawn the protest.