Why Delhi’s civic cor­po­ra­tions fail to man­age waste

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - Front Page - Vibha Sharma vibha.sharma@hin­dus­tan­times.com

SCAT­TERED Res­i­dents say door­to­door waste col­lec­tion miss­ing, civic bod­ies claim peo­ple not sup­port­ive, dump garbage on road­sides

There are two faces of garbage man­age­ment in the city. The first — New Delhi — is clean and cov­ers just 4% of the cap­i­tal. This area is un­der the ju­ris­dic­tion of the New Delhi Mu­nic­i­pal Coun­cil. The sec­ond cov­ers 96% of Delhi and is man­aged by the three mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tions.

To­gether, 96% of Delhi un­der the north, south and east mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tions gen­er­ates over 9,400 tonnes of garbage ev­ery day. Of these, the east cor­po­ra­tion han­dles 2,500 tonnes, north 3,800 tonnes while the south civic body daily has to re­move 3,100 tonnes of waste from res­i­den­tial ar­eas, mar­kets, schools and hospi­tals among oth­ers.

To en­sure proper man­age­ment and dis­posal, the civic bod­ies have hired con­ces­sion­aires who col­lect garbage from doorsteps, seg­re­gate, com­press, re­cy­cle and dump the left­over at land­fills. A fleet of 409 trucks are en­gaged in the process.

These are, how­ever, just of­fi­cial claims. Things on the ground tell a story of mis­man­age­ment.

De­spite en­gag­ing the pri­vate con­ces­sion­aire for door-to-door col­lec­tion of garbage, the tippers do not visit each and ev­ery house or lane. Res­i­dents said they just take rounds of colonies and that too oc­ca­sion­ally.

“Proper mon­i­tor­ing by the depart­ment con­cerned to en­sure the tippers visit each and ev­ery lane, reg­u­larly is miss­ing,” said Ankur Gupta, a res­i­dent of Rani Bagh.

In the given cir­cum­stances, res­i­dents are forced to hire waste pick­ers or pri­vate garbage col­lec­tors, who dump the un­seg­re­gated garbage at dha­laos.

“The im­ple­men­ta­tion of waste man­age­ment rules, 2016 by the civic agency is just an eye­wash. They have not been able to spread aware­ness among all res­i­dents at se­lected colonies so far,” said Gupta.

Ac­cord­ing to Yogin­der Singh Mann, spokesper­son for the north and east cor­po­ra­tions, the civic bod­ies are not lack­ing in garbage man­age­ment. “The prob­lem is that we are not get­ting sup­port from the peo­ple. They keep throw­ing garbage here and there.”

Mann ar­gued that the New Delhi ar­eas, which are well main­tained, can­not be com­pared to other parts of Delhi.

“The ar­eas which fall un­der NDMC are well-planned and developed. In com­par­i­son, the ar­eas that fall un­der our ju­ris­dic­tion in­clude un­planned slums, vil­lages, reg­u­larised and unau­tho­rised ar­eas,” he said.

Go­ing a step head, in unau­tho­rised colonies, where there is no pro­vi­sion for dha­laos, peo­ple feel free to dump waste in va­cant plots or road­sides.

To deal with the prob­lem, the civic bod­ies two years back an­nounced a fine on own­ers of va­cant plots if their prop­er­ties aren’t bar­ri­caded and turn into dump yards. But that fine has failed to act as a de­ter­rent.

For­mer of­fi­cials said un­less au­thor­i­ties ini­ti­ate strict ac­tion against de­fault­ers, things are not go­ing to change.

“The se­nior staff should go for ran­dom vis­its in their ar­eas reg­u­larly rather than just sit in of­fice. They also need to en­sure re­sources are mon­i­tored and utilised prop­erly,” said for­mer com­mis­sioner of uni­fied MCD on con­di­tion of anonymity.

The agency has not even drawn a spe­cific pol­icy for re­cy­cling of garbage dumped at the three land­fills — Okhla, Ghazipur and Bhal­swa.

“All sites have crossed their sat­u­ra­tion point. For years, civic agen­cies have been plan­ning their recla­ma­tion but noth­ing has been done. Waste has been col­lected here for ages and us­ing it as fuel at the waste-to-en­ergy plants would only in­crease pol­lu­tion lev­els,” said Chi­tra Mukher­jee, head of pro­gramme, Chin­tan, NGO.

Shikha Go­sain, a res­i­dent of Anand Vi­har, said: “If I have to rate the waste man­age­ment sys­tem, I would rate it in neg­a­tive. No­body col­lects the waste here. Though the RWAs have made their own ar­range­ments but on main roads, out­siders keep on dump­ing garbage. This cov­ers the roads and chokes the nal­lahs.”

S.BURMAULA/HT FILE

Peo­ple are forced to hire waste pick­ers who dump the un­seg­re­gated garbage at dha­laos.

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