Queries about garbage clearance can be addressed to the toll free number 1800-425-1566 between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Well-laid roads and a garbage-free environs have become a distant dream for Chenniites.

Private conservancy operator Ramky Enviro Engineers, is supposed to have taken charge of solid waste management in three zones of Chennai Corporation - Teynampet (Zone IX), Kodambakkam (Zone X) and Adyar (Zone XIII). The machinery is said to be put in place by mid-January to man the four stages – collection, segregation, transportation and disposal of garbage. The officials of the organisation assure that they have covered the entire Teynampet zone and work is progressing steadily in all the wards there.

“Is it so? The agency has created little impact on our ward (123),” exclaim the residents of Dr. Ranga Road and Bheemanna Garden Street. We have no respite from un-swept streets, overflowing bins… in short an unhygienic ambience,” they add.

“If people are sensitised about keeping the environment clean and stop littering around the bins, you can see a change,” asserts S. D. Venkatesh, GM (Operations), Ramky Enviro Engineers. True, but that is the challenge in a city, whose residents do not think twice about flinging rubbish out of the window and urinating on roads.

Present system

So what is the strategy? Explains Mr. Venkatesh: “Our company, called Chennai Municipal Solid Waste Pvt Ltd, (CMSWPL), has put a system in place in all the 18 wards of zone IX. Take Ward 123 (from Luz signal to Teynampet signal), for instance. Our personnel bring in big bins on tricycles by 7 a.m. and collect the garbage from residents directly.

This door-to-door collection goes on till 2. 30 p.m. and one tricycle covers nearly 300 homes. If it is an apartment the residents are expected to leave the garbage with the watchman or they themselves can hand it over to the tricycle man. Meanwhile the sweepers who are completely equipped (rack, shovel and brooms) brush the streets clean.”

Source segregation

CMSWPL wants the garbage to be segregated at source itself. Soon, the tricycles will carry two bags. One will be for articles such as paper cups, paper, plastics (milk sachets, water packets and pen caps), the other will be for metal scrap _ water bottles, glass bottles and other metals. These wastes will be used for recycling later on.

But not everyone is aware of source segregation. Enter Ramky Foundation, a sister concern of Ramky Enviro, that will go to each house to educate the inmates about segregation. The personnel will put up stickers, posters and talk to the public and handle queries through the toll free number 1800-425-1566 between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.

“The collected wastes will be put into bins (capacity 1,100 litres) positioned at vantage points (66 bins) throughout the ward. The GM assures that the bins are cleared three times a day. “To keep up hygiene the bins will be cleaned every Sunday and disinfected.”

Commercial users

At present the bins are overflowing even though the agency claims that they are being cleared periodically.

“On C.P. Ramaswamy Road, the culprits are commercial users. They dump the entire waste in the bins, which are not meant for that purpose. We want them to hand over the garbage at nights when we come for the second round of collection (between 9 p.m. and 5. 30 a.m.).

The garbage collected from the bins all over zone IX is taken to the transverse station on Karneeswarar Pagoda Street and from there it is transported in big compactors to Perungudi.

Do they have enough workmen to keep the chain going? “Each zone requires at least 1,000 workers and recruitment is going on. The workforce consists of sweepers, collectors, a supervisor (each ward) and four unit officers.

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