BBMP may go for new garbage tenders

A file photo of pourakarmikas collecting garbage from houses in Bengaluru.

A file photo of pourakarmikas collecting garbage from houses in Bengaluru.  

System of single vehicle with compartments to collect wet, dry, and sanitary waste every day mooted

Around four years of work on garbage tenders that were finalised recently is all set to be undone. These tenders are likely be scrapped to make way for new ones, changing the modalities of garbage collection in the city.

The present tenders are for collection of only wet waste, while dry waste collection centres (DWCCs) collect dry waste twice a week now. “This is not a model that will work. It will bring us back to square one of the garbage crisis. We want a single vehicle with separate compartments to collect wet, dry, and sanitary waste every day. We have held a meeting to work around this. We may go for new short-term tenders,” Mayor M. Goutham Kumar told The Hindu.

He said that unlike the present tenders, the new ones would not be at the ward level, but at the division level — for a cluster of three or four wards.

The process for the new garbage tenders began in 2016 when Subodh Yadav was Special Commissioner, Solid Waste Management (SWM), BBMP. He was transferred after tenders failed to take off as contractors boycotted them. Then, the Congress government toyed with the idea of eliminating contractors altogether but soon reverted to the contract system. A seven-member committee of former mayors cutting across party lines was formed and new tender documents were drawn and the process was finalised in 2019.

“The file to issue work orders for 168 wards has been pending before the Standing Committee on Health and Council for over three months now,” said a senior civic official.

Srinivas Gowda, one of those who has won the contract for ward number 97 but has not got the work orders, approached the High Court of Karnataka recently. The court gave a direction to the civic body to issue the work orders in a week. “After the tenders have been finalised and BBMP issued the letter of acceptance how can they cancel the tenders? If they do so, we will challenge it in the High Court,” he said.

The move has also drawn the ire of SWM activists. “There has to be continuity and consistency of a policy. How can a new Mayor overturn the policy ratified by a non-partisan committee? Moreover, Bengaluru experience has taught us that collecting separate streams of waste in a single vehicle will only lead to mixed waste. Cancelling tenders now will only take us back by four years,” Sandhya Narayan, a member of the SWM Round Table said.

Mr. Kumar has been advocating the idea of single vehicle based on the model of Indore which won the cleanest city tag twice in a row under Swachh Bharat rankings. “Indore is a small city and its scale can be no comparison to Bengaluru. If the Mayor wants to implement the Indore model, he should do it in full. There are no contractors in Indore and the entire vehicle fleet is owned by the civic body,” said Ms. Narayan.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 8:06:42 AM |

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