Shortage of Kudumbasree Clean Well workers

Heaps of garbage seen piled up by the wayside and the growing stray dog menace in the city point to shortfalls in the implementation of Capital City Clean City project of the Corporation.

The shortage of sufficient Kudumbasree Clean Well workers (for garbage collection) and poor coordination between Kudumbasree workers and Corporation sanitation staff are reportedly the reasons for the poor performance of the project.

The lackadaisical attitude of many city residents towards source-level segregation of garbage and non-payment of the nominal fee to the Clean Well workers are also major reasons.

The Corporation had recently slapped a fine of Rs.250 on some Clean Well units after unattended garbage heaps were found in their areas.

“The garbage bags for which I was fined were thrown by residents who had not paid the fee for garbage collection. We do not collect garbage if the fee is not paid. They then resort to throwing garbage on the road. This is unfair,” a Clean Well worker from the Vanchiyoor area said.

“It is sad that people refuse to pay Rs.40 a month to these workers. Their job only gets more unpleasant when residents refuse to segregate garbage at the source level. That is why nobody comes forward to do this job. White and green buckets had been provided for garbage segregation and these are being used for other purposes by many households,” Deputy Mayor G. Happykumar said.

As of now, plastic wastes and biodegradable wastes collected by the Clean Well workers are taken to Vilappilsala. Although the Corporation had mooted many schemes for decentralisation of solid waste treatment, none of these projects took off.

Corporation Health standing committee chairperson S. Pushpalatha said the pilot project for ward- and house-level treatment plants would be launched soon. The shredding machines procured by the Corporation for treating plastic wastes had not been utilised yet.

“The plastic wastes are being land filled at Vilappilsala now. This can be stop if the shredding machines start functioning. We will place shredding machines at Vilappilsala, Manacaud, and Peroorkada,” Ms. Pushpalatha said. Work on the leachate treatment plants at Vilappilsala would be completed in two months, she said.

With no system in place, waste management in the newly annexed wards of the Corporation was in a bad state, sources said. Sreekaryam councillor B. Vijayakumar said nothing had been done even after nine months of the new Council taking charge.

“People here have made some arrangements through residents associations and Kudumbasree units to collect garbage. This is but possible only at places where residents' associations are active. It is high time that the Corporation woke up to the situation and addressed this issue,” he said.