One of the challenges the new Coimbatore Corporation Council will face as soon as it comes into being is solid waste management in areas that have been just been annexed.
In the run up to the local body polls, the Corporation saw its area grow from 105 sq km. to 265 sq km with the inclusion of Kavundampalayam, Kurichi and Kuniamuthur Municipalities, Saravanampatti, Kalapatti, Vadavalli, Veerakeralam, Thudiyalur, Vellakinaru and Chinna Vedampatti Town Panchayats and Vilankurichi Panchayat.
With these new local bodies came a host of problems, of which solid waste management, perhaps, occupies the first place. Regular, thorough disposal of waste is what the people are looking for from the new Council, say residents of the added areas.
For, the 11 local bodies, by virtue of being resource constrained, did very little to clean garbage. Even if they did, the local bodies did not have a place to dump those. Kavundampalayam is a case in point.
“The Kavundampalayam Municipality, for want of space, has been dumping garbage along the Sanganur Canal,” says K.M. Sundaram, out-going Municipal chairman. The Municipality collects 60 tonnes garbage a day.
He says the Municipality also needs conservancy workers. It at present has around 30.
The requirement is 80, an addition of 50. More conservancy workers means more garbage and that would have added to the problem.
Now that the 1.10 lakh-strong locality is part of the Corporation, collection and disposal will not be a problem, he intones. “With more men and machinery and a dump yard in Vellalore, the Coimbatore Corporation will be in a better position to manage solid waste.”
The reaction is no different from Amirthavalli Shanmugasundaram, out-going chairperson of Vadavalli Town Panchayat.
The locality, which now forms Ward 16 and 17 of the Coimbatore Corporation, is badly in need of more conservancy workers.
“The town panchayat found it difficult to manage with just 28 people. It needed 55 more,” she says and adds that the new Corporation Council has to take care of the needs. Thudiyalur, again, has the same story: lack of space and fewer workers. And so do the other local bodies.
The Corporation has foreseen the problem and has estimated that the annexure of the 11 local bodies will bring in additional 200 tonnes, leaving it with around 850 tonnes a day.
Not just that the Corporation also needs to factor in the collection process. Sources in the civic body say they have studied the requirement for additional transit stations and are contemplating to have two more.
The first will be in either Kurichi or Kuniamuthur to take care of the waste generated in that neighbourhood and the second will be in either Thidyalur or Vellakinaru to manage the waste generated there.
If the Corporation were to go ahead and establish the two stations, the number will go up to six.
The officials say they are yet to finalise the system and will do so in the immediate future. And they will also have to tackle the manpower shortage – for both the core city and added areas.