NGOs to pitch in with solutions

The Chennai Corporation has intensified efforts to chalk out a strategy to cope with emerging challenges of solid waste management.

Fire in dumping yards, protests by residents and conservancy challenges associated with privatisation of operations have turned out to be causes of concern for the civic body.

Senior officials of the civic body have sought advice from experts at research institutions including IIT, Anna University and city NGOs. One of such meetings with NGOs was organised at the Ripon Buildings on Wednesday.

Organisations such as Cities Development Initiatives for Asia (CDIA) participated in Wednesday’s meeting. CDIA is a regional initiative that provides a range of international and domestic expertise to cities including support for preparation of pre-feasibility studies of high-priority infrastructure investment projects.

The firms that will set up new solid waste management plants in Kuthambakkam and Minjur are likely to be finalised shortly. As the work is expected to commence by May, the civic body is likely to soon chalk out a strategy for solid waste management with the help of experts.

The strategy would include devising simple methods to cope with problems such as pollution and fires in dumping yards, and protests by residents.

By the end of 2014, solid waste generated in the city will be transported to Kuthambakkam and Minjur where new plants will be commissioned. Once the facilities are in place, over 2,500 tonnes of garbage from the southern zones of the city will be transported to Kuthambakkam. Another 2,000 tonnes from the northern parts of the city will be taken to Minjur.

Trade union protest

On Wednesday, a number of employees of the Chennai Corporation participated in a protest organised on the premises of the Ripon Buildings as part of the nationwide trade union strike. The employees pointed to the civic body’s move to gradually privatise conservancy operations as a stumbling block to coping with price rise.

Perambur MLA A. Soundararajan, who participated in the meeting, stressed the need for appointment of new employees in the Corporation without hiring more labourers on contract.

“Many of the civic services such as conservancy operations are being carried out by private contract agencies now. More privatisation of operations is likely. The Corporation should make all the contract workers permanent staff members,” said Devaki, one of the speakers at the meeting.

More In: Chennai | News