Itanagar's waste management issue to be taken up seriously: CM

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Itanagar, Mar 22 (PTI) Expressing concern over Itanagar being ranked as one of the dirtiest cities in the country, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Monday called upon the Itanagar Municipal Corporation (IMC) to remove the tag by shouldering the responsibility of waste management with utmost sincerity.

Chairing a meeting here with the 20 newly elected corporators headed by mayor Tame Phassang, Khandu said, the onus is on the IMC to revive the garbage disposal system for improving the unfavourable image of the state capital.

Noting that the 'almost complete' four-lane highway in the city has somewhat overhauled the perception about it, he said, 'No amount of infrastructural development will suffice until the city is cleared of its garbage.

'As IMC was defunct for the last two years due to various reasons, the in-place system of waste management was thrown into disarray. Therefore, the new team of corporators has a huge responsibility on its shoulders, he said.

Elections to the Urban Local Body could not be conducted after the erstwhile Municipal Council completed its tenure in 2019 due to the pandemic.

Certain changes were to be brought in after the state government had decided to make the Itanagar local body a corporation.

As per official records, Itanagar has a population of about 1 lakh-plus consisting of 19,580 households in 20 wards.

It produces about 50 metric tons of both solid and wet garbage daily.

The chief minister suggested to the corporators, who have been in office hardly for a month, to sincerely attend the orientation and training programme to be organised by the urban development department in April.

He also advised them to visit a couple of cities that are successfully running waste management systems.

'Once you come back with the newly gained knowledge, suggest the government a way forward and we will set a timeline to make Itanagar one of the cleanest cities in the country,' Khandu said.

Meanwhile, the chief minister said that the government would work out a way to make functional the waste management plant at Chimpu, near here.

The mayor assured that picking garbage and transporting it to the dumping or recycling plant would not be a problem.

However, he requested the government to make the defunct recycling plant at Chimpu functional besides establishment of dumping and land-fill sites, one each for Itanagar and Naharlagun.

The required land will be procured by IMC, he said.

To a proposal that waste management, from collection to disposal and recycling, may be handed over to an experienced agency, Phassang said it was up to the government to decide as the only objective is to run a successful management system and keep the city clean.

Another important issue raised by the mayor was poor revenue collection from waste disposal.

He said that the IMC has only 20 people for door-to- door revenue collection, who by no means can visit all households on time.

The chief minister suggested that this could be included in the water bill, collected by the Public Health Engineering (PHE) department, which has enough manpower for door-to-door collection. PTI UPL MM MM