The housing societies in Pimpri-Chinchwad have opposed the civic body’s decision to discontinue the collection of wet garbage from October 2. The societies allege that several projects received ‘completion certificates’ from the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) without the builders installing wet waste processing plants as mandated under the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.
The PCMC said that it will not collect “wet garbage” from big housing societies from October 2 as they are supposed to have installed wet waste processing plants.
“On one hand, the PCMC is telling us to manage our wet waste by setting up our wet waste processing plants. On the other hand, it is not verifying whether the builders have set up wet waste processing plants in the housing societies,” said Sanjeev Sangale, head of Chikhli-Moshi-Pimpri-Chinchwad Housing Society Federation.
Sangale further said, “There are 738 housing societies under our federation. Of these, 238 are smaller societies meaning they do not generate 100 kg of wet waste daily. Of the remaining 500, only five have wet waste processing plants. This means the PCMC issued completion certificates to the builders even though they did not follow the norms of setting up wet waste processing plants. The PCMC is warning us of taking action if we do not process our wet waste, likewise, they should also take action against builders, who failed to set up wet waste processing plants.”
Demanding action against ‘guilty’ PCMC officials, Sangale said the federation would send a letter to Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Municipal Commissioner Shekhar Singh seeking an investigation against officials, who issued completion certificates despite builders not setting up wet waste processing plants.
Sangale said that they had also sought action against ‘guilty’ builders during the tenure of former municipal commissioner Shravan Hardikar three years ago. “The then civic chief had promised action in seven days. However, we have not heard what action was taken,” he said.
Sangale added that though they are seeking an investigation, they also want a solution to the issue. “We have discussed the problem with PCMC officials. Members of housing societies are also discussing the issue among themselves. The PCMC should not shirk responsibility. It should take an initiative and set up wet waste processing plants to cater to a group of societies,” he said.
Elaborating on the issue, PCMC deputy municipal commissioner Ajay Charthankar said, “The rules regarding setting up wet waste processing plants came into effect in 2016. The Union government had framed Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, which are applicable across the country. There is no question of accepting or rejecting them. The state government has also incorporated the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, into the Urban Development Control Regulations (UDCR). The UDCR makes it mandatory for builders to set up wet waste processing plants before they are issued completion certificates.”
Charthankar said it is mandatory for builders to set up wet waste processing plants in their projects after 2016.
“However, it is also true that builders seem to have secured completion certificates after temporarily assembling the machinery of wet waste processing plants and then taking them away. The municipal commissioner will look into this aspect,” he added.
The deputy municipal commissioner said that societies generating 100 kg of wet waste daily will have to either set up their system or hand it over to private facilities to convert it into compost. “The Union government’s norm is that every family generates 2.5 kg of waste every day. Of this, 1.5 kg of waste is wet waste. If a residential society has 75 flats, it is categorised as a bulk wet waste generator. Such societies have to set up their own system to process the wet waste. They cannot rely on the PCMC to do the job,” he added.
Slamming the PCMC’s decision, K Harinarayan, president of Pimpri-Chinchwad District Congress Sahakar Cell, said, “The decision of PCMC not to collect the wet waste from residential societies from October 2 is illogical and was taken in a haste… PCMC should call society representatives for discussion and chalk out solutions. Imposing without understanding the ground realities will not help in resolving the issue.”
Shridhar Chalka, an activist said, “There is an uproar over the PCMC move. Instead of unilaterally announcing the decision, PCMC should have first held a meeting with representatives of the housing societies and taken them into confidence. Now, the situation has escalated with the housing societies refusing to accept the PCMC order. It should postpone the move and first bring the societies together for a dialogue.”