Expansion of area, fewer conservancy workers, increase in quantity of garbage and above all, high expectation from the city's residents – these are a few challenges that stare in the face of the Coimbatore Corporation. At least, as far as solid waste management is concerned.
The Corporation's area has gone up from 105 sq.km. to 256 sq.km. with the amalgamation of 11 neighbouring local bodies and so has the quantity of garbage. Sources in the civic body say that the Corporation will now have to remove more than 750 tonnes garbage – an addition of over 130 tonnes.
The additional inflow, the sources say, is not a problem because the compost yard at Vellalore is equipped to process around 800 tonnes solid waste. The problem, however, lies in the shortage of conservancy workers that the local bodies have brought to the Corporation. As the graphic shows, Kurichi, Kuniamuthur, Kavundampalayam, Vadavalli, Veerakeralam, Thudiyalur, Vellakinaru, Chinna Vedampatti, Kalapatti, Saravanampatti and Vilankurichi account for a shortage of 1,490 conservancy workers. That only adds to the Corporation's 1,622. This shortage will hit the Corporation the most at the primary collection stage, for, it is the conservancy workers who collect garbage at doorsteps and take them to the roadside bins.
At present, the added areas – the amalgamated 11 local bodies – have 326 permanent conservancy workers and another 708 on contract. The core city area has 2,635 permanent conservancy workers and 494 on a temporary basis.
The sources say the Corporation has started addressing the issue by going in for more workers. They point to the last Council's resolution for taking in 528 workers on a temporary basis. The workers will soon join the workforce in the added areas.
In addition to that, the Corporation has also sought a list from the District Employment Office, Coimbatore, for appointment of conservancy workers on a permanent basis. The sources say that the Corporation will soon come up with a comprehensive plan for solid waste management. Once that is ready, the civic body will have a roadmap of what is to be done in the next five years.
Aside from the worker shortage, the Corporation is also planning to go in for two more transit stations – one for added areas in the north and another for the south. The north transit station will meet the needs of Thudiyalur, Vellakinaru and Chinna Vedampatti and the south will take care of Kurichi and Kuniamuthur.
The core city will have four. Two of the four are functioning in Peelamedu and on Sathyamangalam Road. Works on Ukkadam and Ondipudur transit stations will commence soon.