The Hindu 12.04.2017
Corpn. has mega plans for solid waste management
Focus is on improving the area around Meenakshi temple
The civic body has rolled out mega plans for handling its ever increasing garbage, which currently revolved around 650 to 700 tonnes a day.
Roping in state-of-the-art technology from the country’s premier institution — IIT-Madras —, officials have planned to introduce “cycle-activated sludge technology,” with which recycling is possible to a great extent after treatment without affecting the environment.
Recently, technocrats, accompanied by the civic body’s engineers, visited the Avaniapuram and Sakkimangalam sites, near here, where segregation of waste is being done.
Suggesting transformation from the British instituted “French Drainage Treatment System,” the officials were told about the need for preserving the environment and lessen pollution. Right from modernisation of fleets to improvement of transfer station and compost yard figured in the discussions, officials said.
Presently, Madurai Corporation spends close to Rs. 40 lakh every month in lifting garbage from across the 100 wards.
Though the national average of per capita garbage generation is around 400 grams, the Madurai Corporation claims that it lifts 425 grams per person.
It deploys 2800 conservancy workers and transports garbage in 150 vehicles, including trucks, push carts and tri-cycles from different locations.
Speaking to The Hindu , Corporation Commissioner Sandeep Nanduri said that for segregation purpose, the Corporation had 32 acres of land on the outskirts, but considering the rise in population and newly added wards, an additional 119.27 acres of land had been identified.
After the Corporation expanded from 72 to 100 wards by adding extension areas, its jurisdiction too had expanded from 51.82 square kilometres to 147.99 square kilometres, he added.
With the Smart City project taking shape, focus is now on improving the area around the Meenakshi Temple. The civic body has planned to introduce not only eco-friendly toilets, but state-of-the-art technology in disposing garbage. “The dumper bins are to be placed underground, so that there is less scope for pollution. Only when the devotees and shopkeepers cooperate, the objective will be fulfilled,” he said.
Special squads would be deployed round-the-clock to clear garbage in and around the Meenakshi Temple.
The authorities were also examining extension of night cleaning to streets situated close to the temple (Avanimoola, Chithirai and Masi Streets) so that movement of garbage hauling trucks is minimum during daytime.
While the Union government will provide Rs. 100 crore as first instalment towards Smart City project and an equal sum is expected from the State government before this end of this fiscal, the civic body is also looking for funds from the Centre for the sewer project to cover newly added areas, for which a proposal for Rs. 229.36 crore had been submitted. “The project is expected to be approved soon,” a senior official in the accounts section said.
Not without problems
A section of the conservancy workers employed on contract basis have threatened to go on strike if their demands are not fulfilled soon. According to union representatives, wage agreement with different types of workers had been violated and they also alleged that there were malpractices.
For instance, a worker who was to get Rs. 450 per day, was getting Rs. 325 only. Similarly, a woman conservancy worker said that Rs. 4500 was credited to her account per month against Rs. 7500. Another worker said that she had not got her wages for the last three months.
Corporation officials, however, said that they had taken action against the contractor concerned and claimed that the issue would be sorted out soon.