The success of proposed solid waste management facilities in Kuthambakkam and Minjur without polluting the environment will be crucial for a major overhaul of the city’s conservancy machinery.

Nearly a fifth of the 1,231 ideas generated in the past one year at ‘brainstorming sessions’ involving civic body officials, Mayor Saidai S. Duraisamy and councillors pertain to solid waste management in the city. However, the impact of many of these have not been felt on the ground as toll-free helpline continues to receive a large number of calls seeking better conservancy operations. It is in this context that the pre-bid meeting for setting up waste management plants that has been proposed next week raises fresh hopes for lasting solutions. The State government has now given administrative sanction to the Corporation’s initiative to take a giant leap towards solid waste management. The success of proposed solid waste management facilities in Kuthambakkam and Minjur without polluting the environment will be crucial for a major overhaul of the city’s conservancy machinery.

Let us have a look at some of the ideas generated and suggestions made by the Council and the Mayor so far.

Door-to-door collection of garbage from all the households in the 426 sq km of the city was reiterated at a brainstorming session on November 19, 2012. The need for more conservancy workers for such models of conservancy operations also figured prominently in the discussion. Specially designed bags, 400 in number, for door-to-door collection were proposed to be used on a pilot basis. The garbage bags were proposed to be taken on tricycles to the garbage enclosures set up by the civic body. Trucks will then transport the bags to the dumping yards.

A meeting on November 17, 2012 pointed to the role of cooperatives of conservancy workers in solid waste management by giving incentives for participation of such entities. The civic body recently invited bids from organisations such as cooperative societies, for enlisting an additional of 2000 conservancy workers for collection of garbage from homes and sweeping of streets for a period of 150 days. The members of such cooperatives, who undertake primary collection of garbage, will be covered under the Cooperative Societies Act. The income-earning capacity of members of such cooperative societies will improve. The plan for involving cooperatives in conservancy operations was a stepping stone for a massive transformation of the livelihood condition of the existing labourers with private conservancy contractors.

At a meeting on November 19, 2012, a suggestion on stringent penal action against a private conservancy operator was made to set an example for other private conservancy operators to be enlisted in future. The civic body officials were asked to be ready to cope with taking over the conservancy operations from Ramky Enviro Engineers in wards such as 109, 131, 135, 133, 173 and 181. The civic body already took over two divisions of 110 and 112 from Ramky.

The civic body, at another meeting on November 30, 2012, proposed collection of fine amount from commercial establishments that dump garbage on roads. Thousands of commercial establishment were to be given notice asking them to give the garbage directly to the conservancy labourers visiting the premises in vehicles.

A meeting on October 6, 2012 stressed the need for strengthening the biometric system for lorry drivers and labourers.

A meeting on April 4, 2012 focussed on Kodungaiyur and Perungudi fire and environment pollution and suggested measures.

At a meeting on June 6, 2012, ideas on strengthening geo-coding system for bins located on road sides were generated. Now, the civic body has generated a number of ideas, but in bits and pieces. Yet the challenge remains in finding a thread that weaves the wonderful ideas to clothe the city in splendour. Will the pre-bid meeting next week give an answer to the challenge?

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