With the State government increasing the subsidy share for pipe composting units to 90 per cent, the project has found many takers in the wards.
Does this cloud have a silver lining? The seemingly unending crisis in the disposal of garbage is making the people of the city look for smarter and cleaner waste-management options. Many of them are coming forward to set up household units, such as pipe composting units and biogas plants.
Corporation officials and ward councillors say the demand has increased in recent days.
The scheme was inaugurated in eight wards on Sunday.
“We had nearly 500 applicants initially, and we have already installed the units in some 100 households. Now, an additional 300 families have come forward to adopt them,” said Sreevaraham councillor S. Vijayakumar.
Positive feedback from those who have already installed the units in their houses has helped promote these as a viable source-level waste-treatment option.
“I applied for the composting unit around two months ago, and around a month later, it was installed in my house. I have found it suitable for urban households as it occupies only a small space. There are no issues, such as stench,” K. Sreekantan Nair, who lives in the Muttada ward, said.
Although the project has started to take off in the city, the disbursement of the subsidy has not been streamlined. While in some wards, the beneficiaries need to pay only the consumer share of Rs. 93 a unit, in other places, the full amount of Rs. 893 is collected from them and the portion minus the subsidy is reimbursed after the implementation of the scheme.
Mayor K. Chandrika says that only those residents’ association or service providers who can afford to bear the initial amount can get the units installed by charging the beneficiaries only the subsidised rates up front. Others will have to first collect the full amount from the beneficiaries and pay the reimbursement after they get the funds from the Corporation.
“The Corporation can release the funds only after they produce the project completion certificates. Hence, the State government was requested to permit the Corporation to release at least 50 per cent of the subsidy in advance to the service providers. This way, they can procure the pipes without hassles and the beneficiaries also do not have to pay the extra amount. However, the government is yet to consider this request,” Ms Chandrika said.
Out of the 40,000 households who applied, 20,000 have got the composting units.
An official of the Kudumbasree Mission says the mission will make an advance payment at the rate of Rs. 500 a unit to the Kudumbasree Clean Well units, which are service providers under the project, so that they can procure the composting units without charging the beneficiaries the full amount.
“We will make the advance payment this week. As soon as the Clean Well units complete installation of the composting units, they will be reimbursed the amount by the Corporation,” the official says.
The Clean Well units will help in the maintenance of the pipe composting units wherever they have installed them.