Satish Kainth, an Independent councillor, argues with Mayor (not in picture) during MC House meeting in Sector 17, Chandigarh, on Friday. Jaipal Singh
The General House of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation approved the new waste collection system in the city wherein 300 CNG-based vehicles worth Rs 18 crore will be purchased. Residents will now have to pay user charges which will be collected by the civic body either through water bills or property tax bills. Under the new system, the existing garbage collectors who worked independently as of now will work either as drivers, helpers or discharge any duty assigned by the corporation in sanitation work on an outsourced basis. The new system will tentatively come into place from March 1 and residents have to pay user charges fixed by the MC.
It was decided that those door-to-door collectors who qualify driving test and have valid driving licence will be given preference for being engaged as drivers against available posts. During the discussion, it was decided that two vehicles would exclusively be meant for collecting waste from religious institutions and one exclusively for horticulture waste.
One vehicle of the corporation will cater to 800 households in a day and there are 2.15 lakh households which are being covered by door-to-door collectors. One vehicle will cost Rs 6 lakh plus recurring maintenance cost and for 300 vehicles, Rs 18 crore will be incurred by the civic body.
Municipal Commissioner K K Yadav explained to the General House that the door-to-door collectors will be given monthly payment equivalent to his or her prevalent collection from houses under his/her area. For this, the collectors will have to supply the list of households from where they collect the waste and amount charged from each household by December 20. This cumulative amount of each collector will become the base amount for his or her monthly payment from MC.
The amount collected from the sale of waste of present area under door-to-door collectors will be distributed proportionately among them on the basis of their payable amount preferably thrice in a month. They will also be getting a weekly rest and a collector (in blood relation) will work in his place on that rest day.
At the same time, it was also discussed that Rs 8.50 crore annually would be incurred on the salary of 345 drivers, Rs 15 lakh on five data entry operators, Rs 36.28 lakh on 14 supervisors.
As there was opposition from the Congress councillors who said that the agenda be deferred as it reached late on Thursday night, Mayor Rajesh Kalia stated that “it was such a nice move that corporation was taking and there shouldn’t be any hurdles”.
The councillors also suggested that health insurance of the waste collectors should also be incorporated in the plan.
The issue got a green signal after a year-long deadlock. These terms and conditions were decided after consulting the garbage collectors who went on days-long protest last year after the corporation decided to take over the waste collection system.
Also, now because it is the corporation that will run the system, if any resident misses segregating the waste or paying the bill, charges will be added to the water bill of the said defaulter.
What happened in 2018
In 2018, when the corporation decided to take over the garbage collection, there was a fortnight-long strike in the city with waste collectors refusing to collect waste. The garbage collectors stated that all of them would be rendered jobless and the corporation would keep its own men to run the twin-bin hopper tipper vehicles. Even as the MC decided that they will take these waste collectors under them and pay them as per the decided rates, the latter refused saying that they won’t work for meagre rates and will not work under the MC.
Later, it was decided to sign an MoU with the waste collectors who will work with the MC in the system.
Waste Chandigarh generates
Chandigarh generates 540 metric tonnes of waste, of which 90 tonnes are of construction and demolition waste. It is estimated that of the remaining 450 tonnes of waste of which 120 tonnes is horticulture waste, which will be processed, and composting will be done for 110 tonnes of wet waste. Of the remaining 220 tonnes, 80 per cent of the waste is recyclable and just 150 tonnes will be left for the garbage processing plant to process.
Garbage-free star rating 5
The final resolution for declaring Chandigarh as garbage-free five star rating was passed in the House on Friday. It was specified that public objection/feedback was sought till November 14, 2019, but none was received. For being a certified five star rating, Chandigarh will get 800 marks.