The condition of sanitation in most parts of the city are witnessing a deterioration. Heaps of garbage are piled up around garbage bins and along roads. It is common to see garbage in the bins being set on fire. The Municipal Corporation has been unable to come up with concrete proposals to tackle the problem. In fact, even as a proposal is on the anvil for a survey to be conducted for suggesting new measures none of the projects initiated in the past have worked out successfully.
Lower Amount of garbage being lifted
The Garbage Processing Plant set up near Dadumajra was touted to be a solution for the garbage problem. As much as 350 tonnes of garbage was to be processed daily. The plant management has now complained that the amount of garbage being sent by the MC to the plant is witnessing a steady decline.
A plant official said that from 300 tonnes daily, the amount of garbage being received has reduced to 220 to 230 tonnes per day. “We have met the officials of the MC for finding a solution. The garbage being produced in the city is not reducing. Its just due to lack of proper lifting that the amount reaching the plant is less. We are facing losses because of this. Instead heaps of garbage are being burnt,” said the official.
There are around 350 to 400 garbage bins in the city. However, the civic body has just 25 vehicles to lift the garbage. While earlier the number was 30, five vehicles broke down over a period of time. The inadequate lifting has resulted in heaps of garbage piling up in many sectors. In fact the 350 tonnes to be processed did not include horticulture waste and certain other categories for which there is no provision of disposal.
MC Proposals fail to solve problem
The pilot project started by the MC for lifting of garbage in Sector 22 failed soon after its launch. The proposal entailed that MC hire a contractor for lifting of garbage. Rates would be fixed and the contractor would collect garbage door-to-door. After protests by sanitation workers and political interference the project was scrapped.
The three mechanised sweeping machines purchased at a cost of Rs 5 crores failed to yield much result. The recurring cost of the machines is quite high making it unfeasible to use these. A committee has recently given a recommendation that the machines be used only for one shift a day.
The existing dumping ground at Dadumajra is fast filling up. While a need for an alternate site has been raised, due to lack of space in Chandigarh no area has been identified. A proposal was made to the Punjab government for allocation of some land for the purpose. This did not receive a positive response.
Residents rue state of sanitation in city
Federation of Sectors Welfare Association Chandigarh, in a meeting held recently, rued that the standards of sanitation in the city were declining. The general secretary of Chandigarh Social Welfare Council Satish Sharma says, “The condition throughout the city is quite pitiable. It is common to see heaps of garbage along the roads. Chandigarh that was known for its cleanliness is now witnessing a downfall.”
Councillor Pardeep Chhabra says, “There is a lack of supervisory staff to monitor the collection of garbage. Lifting of garbage needs to be done daily. This is not being done. When a decision is taken, issues are politicized that leads to nothing being resolved. There is a need for hiring more staff.