Last year too, similar deaths were reported in Jawaharnagar when three children went missing
An open rear side of the Jawaharnagar dump, the city's sole garbage yard, has once again proved to be fatal for rag-pickers as the search for the three women, who were missing inside the dump since last week, continued on Monday too. This is despite the authorities pressing eight excavators at the site for tracing them.
Last year too there were similar fatalities inside the heap when three children went missing and could not be traced. Before that another woman rag-picker also went missing. Senior municipal officials expressed their helplessness in averting such a catastrophe since the entry by rag pickers inside was surreptitious.
“We have round-the-clock security and our vehicles are constantly moving in and out yet these persons have been managing to enter from the back,” they explained. It meant that such mishaps could be averted if the boundary breach was bridged.
Unfortunately, a compound wall along with a fence to be constructed all round the garbage yard of 289 acres is progressing at a snail's pace.
The GHMC could have done it but it is now putting the entire blame on its private partner, Ramky, chosen to build the Integrated Municipal Solid Waste Management Project which includes household collection, transport and scientific disposal at the dump.
“They are supposed to have finished the wall and the fence by now. Once completed it would put a halt to all kinds of intrusions by rag-pickers. We have once again reminded them to complete the work,” said senior officials. A pending case in the High Court had forced the GHMC's hand to allow the firm to do only the tertiary part of the project, i.e. at the dump yard.
As part of this activity, the firm was also supposed to have firmed up the piled-up garbage and segregate the waste into organic and inorganic. It has to take up litchete treatment and also take up the sanitary landfill for storing the inert waste along with a compost site.
All these were to be completed by the year end, according to senior officials but even they concede that it was not going to happen. “If they do the tertiary part as mandated, we would have given permission to take up household collection in two zones on a pilot scheme,” they added.