Interestingly, the MoU comes just a month before the city is to compete with other cities in Swachhta Surveksha
The entire waste collection system will be run by the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation now as the much-awaited memorandum of understanding has been signed between the waste collectors and the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation after a year-long deadlock. It is the corporation that will directly send bills of waste collection to the house owners.
The system will begin from January onwards with the corporation’s twin-bin hopper tipper vehicles going around house to house collecting the waste. The independent waste collectors will be working as helpers in these vehicles.
Interestingly, the MoU comes just a month before the city is to compete with other cities in Swachhta Survekshan. This will help the MC in ensuring that the segregation of waste is done. If it is not done, the house owner can be penalised.
Medical officer of health (MoH) Dr Amrit Pal Singh told Chandigarh Newsline that the MoU has been signed. “Yes, it is the MC that will run the system. It is the corporation that will directly send the waste collection bill to house owners. These independent waste collectors who will be working as helpers will give it in writing to the corporation on the number of houses each is doing and MC will directly fund the total amount in the waste collector’s bank account.”
Now because it is the corporation that will run the system, if any resident is not able to segregate the waste or pay the bill, charges will be added to the water bill of the said defaulter.
The waste collectors who have been carrying out the waste collection in the city were not under the corporation and would work independently. Due to no legal binding, the work was haphazard and many houses would remain unattended. Also, waste segregation was hit too.
In 2018, when the corporation decided to take over 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.
For this present system, around 250 vehicles will be required by the MC. One vehicle will carry out waste collection from 800 houses. As per the medical officer of health wing, there are around 1,700 waste collectors in the city. But the exact number is yet to be ascertained.
The entire plan would be brought in the General House meeting scheduled this month so that the corporation can begin the system from January onwards. Already there are small 100 twin-bin vehicles with them and Smart City Limited has also decided to give 40 such vehicles.
Some of the waste collectors will also work at the material recovery facilitation centres that will be made instead of the Sehaj Safai Kendras.
These MRF centres will be used to reduce the dumping of waste.
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, 120 tonne is horticulture waste, which will be processed and composting will be done for the 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.
I did what I promised, says Mayor Kalia
Mayor Rajesh Kalia told Chandigarh Newsline that with the MoU, his only pending promise has been fulfilled. Kalia’s term is ending this month. “With this, the entire waste collection is streamlined. The MoU was signed between the waste collectors and MC officers last evening,” he said.