Door-to-door collection of garbage not entirely successful

Across the city, one can notice several street corners where garbage is dumped indiscriminately. These corners, which are called black spots, are proof that the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike’s (BBMP) door-to-door collection is not being implemented hundred per cent in the city.

Many residents, especially those in congested areas, often complain about the irregular garbage collection by pourakarmikas. Azam Pasha, a resident of D.J. Halli, said the area was one of the most congested residential pockets in the city and that door-to-door garbage collection was almost nonexistent.

The pourakarmikas, on the other hand, complained about the work load. “On the one hand we have to collect garbage from households, on the other we have to sweep the streets. We are not given any facilities. The supervisors ask us to buy the brooms as well. Even when we go to the street to collect garbage, the residents do not give it to us. After we have cleared the streets, they dump it on street corners,” complained Subbakka (name changed), a contract pourakarmika in Jayanagar.

The city has 198 wards that are spread across 800 sq km. While the BBMP directly employs around 3,100 pourakarmikas, the number of contract pourakarmikas is around 18,700. The BBMP is yet to recruit 4,000 pourakarmikas even though the government has already given a green signal to this.

A senior BBMP official told The Hindu, on condition of anonymity, that the number of pourakarmikas and the vehicles required for solid waste management are decided based on certain normative standards. “The number of pourakarmikas and vehicles required in each package are calculated based on the population, number of households, commercial establishments and other bulk generators, length of roads and drains.”

The BBMP has a total of 91 garbage packages in the city. Of these, the BBMP has floated tenders for 50. However, the tenders are yet to be finalised, the official said.

The official conceded that there were some problems with door-to-door collection of garbage. “The number of households in the city has increased. The problem has arisen mainly due to shortage of manpower.”

S.K. Nataraj, former Mayor and Sarakki councillor, conceded that the main impediment to the door-to-door collection was the shortage of manpower. “Most of the garbage contracts are bagged by a single agency. The agency, it has turned out, had made tall claims as it is not able to hire the adequate number of pourakarmikas or provide them with pushcarts and auto tippers.”

The former adviser to Chief Minister on urban affairs A. Ravindra said the door-to-door collection of garbage was introduced with an objective of ridding the city of concrete waste bins. The system was first introduced when he was the commissioner of the civic body which then had only 100 wards. “There are some deviations which have to be set right. The citizens have to cooperate with the BBMP and handover the waste only to the pourakarmikas. The increasing number of black spots in the city is worrisome.” He also pointed out the need for effective supervision, which is currently lacking.

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