While commuting on Mundhwa Road, it is almost impossible to miss heaps of garbage lying on either side of the road at every few hundred metres. Residents complain that the garbage pick-up service has been erratic for the past one-and-a-half years, escalating the garbage problem multifolds.
Sandeep Jain, one of the residents and a member of Pingle Vasti-Mundhwa Citizen Forum, said, “There are many houses and localities in the area that do not get garbage pick-up service. Therefore, they throw their garbage on the roadside. The garbage bins are overflowing. The problem lies in the improper complaint redressal system of the PMC.”
Another resident, Col (retd) Kuldeep Sawhney said he has been observing deteriorating state of waste disposal system of the PMC since past many months. Most housing societies, he added, have system of collecting wet and dry waste from flats through their own employed staff or Swachh workers, who are paid by the PMC and residents.
“Till about one and a half years ago, after the containers were removed form the area, Ghanta Gadi (PMC pick-up truck) used to go around each day at about 9.30 am. Till then the area was clean. It has stopped coming and people are forced to look for open spaces and dump there. Residents even burn the garbage at regular intervals. The waste deposited at other isolated areas are burnt by PMC staff. Entire area is littered with polythene bags. Incidentally removal of containers coincides with when there was lot of noise by Uruli people to stop dumping waste in their area,” he said, adding he has been trying to complain to the PMC through its website, but could not do so as the complaint webpage wasn’t working. He has also been contacting sanitary inspectors and ward officer but so far the problem has not been solved.
On a few occasions, the officials have made arrangements to get the garbage picked up from a few spots, but they are yet to restore rounds of Ghanta Gadi. The PMC website’s complaint pages is still not working. Mohalla committee member and resident of Mundhwa, Nirmala Tiku, said she has been raising the issue at every ward office meeting from the past so many months but in vain. In the recent meeting, she added, she was told by the ward officer that the problem was due to shortage of funds.
According to Mohini Sharma, another resident, people also need to be educated. Apart from the residents, even the vada pav stall owners and construction sites dump their waste material in the open, Sharma added. Ward officer Sanjay Gavade, however, put the onus on the residents. “There are many reasons when the PMC’s garbage pick-up truck either gets delayed or unable to reach the spot such as staff absenteeism, vehicle breakdown or traffic. Instead of waiting for a few hours or a day, people throw the garbage here and there,” Gavade said.