The Kozhikode Corporation has decided to take private land on lease to set up mini material collection facilities (MCFs) in all wards. At present, only four of the 75 wards have their own mini MCFs.
In a submission at the corporation council meeting on Tuesday, Edakkad councillor T. Muralidharan said the absence of mini MCFs affected the functioning of the Haritha Karma Sena (HKS). It also affected the income of its members.
There are 564 HKS members in the corporation. They are recruited locally. But there is scarcity of HKS members in a few wards, as they are reluctant to come forward owing to lack of basic facilities.
“What the HKS collects from houses and establishments is not necessarily waste. There could be certain things that could be reused or sold off to scrap dealers. However, in the absence of mini MCFs, HKS members are unable to segregate waste collected locally and thus are missing out on their additional income,” Mr. Muralidharan said.
He added that a few HKS units had earned up to ₹1 lakh in some months from the sale of such materials. The councillor requested the corporation to set up mini MCFs in all wards. If corporation land is not available, private land could be taken on lease, and the civic body could pay the lease amount, he suggested.
Mr. Muralidharan also demanded that the corporation issue an order making monthly payment from houses and establishments to HKS members mandatory, as a step to ensure minimum wages for them. “The ₹60 per bag of non-biodegradable waste collected from each house per month is the only income for HKS at present. But some residents combine the bags to minimise the amount payable to HKS. This takes a toll on the income of HKS members,” he said. Mr. Muralidharan also suggested that the fees paid to HKS be linked to building tax in such a way that the receipt issued by HKS is mandatory to pay tax.
Mayor Beena Philip accepted Mr. Muralidharan’s suggestions and said steps would be taken soon to open mini MCFs in all wards and to ensure minimum wages for HKS members.