Garbage collection to be privatised in Erode

S. Ramesh
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Sanitary workers collecting garbage at a street in Erode on Thursday. —PHOTO: M. GOVARTHAN
Sanitary workers collecting garbage at a street in Erode on Thursday. —PHOTO: M. GOVARTHAN

The Erode Corporation has taken the first step towards making the town clean and tidy. It has decided in principle to handover the process of garbage collection to the private sector and levy a monthly waste collection charge from the bulk generators, including restaurants and hotels.

The collection of garbage will be privatised in 16 wards initially. The civic body has selected four wards from each zone – wards 2, 3, 6 and 8 from Zone I, wards 17, 26, 28 and 30 from Zone II, wards 31, 32, 33 and 34 from Zone III and wards 46, 50, 55 and 56 from Zone IV.

The decision was taken as the civic body had been facing severe shortage of sanitary workers, which resulted in poor garbage collection.

The town generates over 150 tonnes of garbage, including a large amount of plastic and polythene waste, every day. Heaps of garbage remain uncollected on the streets for days together as the civic body is not able to implement door-to-door waste collection in all the parts of the town due to labour shortage. This has left the residents and commercial establishments to dump huge amount of the waste on streets.

“A ward should have at least 10 to 20 sanitary workers to carry out waste collection at the doorsteps. Currently, a majority of the wards in the town have less than five workers. The town requires 400 more workers to carry out the garbage collection effectively,” an official in the civic body says.

The civic body has taken the decision to privatise garbage collection as complaints pour in from the residents about the deteriorating sanitary conditions.

Privatisation will help streamline garbage collection and improve the condition. Garbage collection in other wards will also be privatised in a phased manner, officials here say.

The corporation council has already given its nod for the privatisation of garbage collection.

“We will soon send the proposal to the government seeking approval. Once the approval is given, we will call for tenders,” Corporation Commissioner M. Vijayalakshmi said.

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