Pune Municipal Corporation was recently bestowed with The United Nations Climate and Clean Air Award, 2018, at San Francisco, on September 11 for its innovative waste segregation model.
Pune365 spoke to activists and informed citizens on the model and the reality on ground with respect to waste management:
Harshad Barde, Director of SWaCH said, “We are glad that the system of Waste Pickers Integration based doorstep collection which ensures highest segregation and recycling is being recognised at the international level.
We appeal to the citizens and elected representatives of Pune to support and promote the user fee-based model which saves the PMC almost 100 crores per annum whilst ensuring recycling of over 70,000 tons of dry waste annually, Barde added.
Vinita Deshmukh, Senior Journalist, RTI columnist & activist opines, “As per my observation, over the years, the Pune Municipal Corporation has certainly made good efforts to address the issue of solid waste management.
However, it is not good enough to be able prevent health hazards (dengue being an example) and maintain cleanliness on the city’s streets and neighbourhoods.
This aspect assumes greater significance, considering that Pune is officially referred to as a `Smart City’ and the most `liveable city.’
The ugly mountains of untreated garbage in Urali Devachi speaks stark of the mismanagement of the 1600-1700 tonnes of garbage that the city produces every day, most of which lands here.
At the ward level, the dry and wet garbage segregation is still a burning issue except for some neighbourhoods in Pune where it is well executed through the `ghanta Gadis.’
In others, it is either the inefficiency at the ward office level or non-cooperation of housing societies that leads to a messed up situation.
Deshmukh further added “Corruption too raises its ugly head through the machinery put up at the Urli Devachi site for combustion of the garbage which works much below its capacity to take care of 800 tonnes of garbage per day.
What is required is strict monitoring by the PMC at every ward and penalising individuals and housing societies who do not follow the norms of wet and dry garbage segregation.
A couple of times the PMC administration’s decision to levy fines of violators was vetoed by the corporators! That’s the priority of those who we voted for!
Nikhil Kadam, Social Activist says, “The city is fast turning into a huge garbage dump. There is filth everywhere. The roads are littered with piles of garbage which are hardly ever picked up.
Instead of gloating they should start their work now so that the whole of Pune will wear a clean look. The responsibility lies with citizens and PMC as well.”
Segregation of waste is barely carried out in all parts of the city and wherever it is carried PMC garbage vans combine all the waste while picking it up, of transferring into their van.
Uruli Devachi and Phursungi are turning into huge garbage dumps and surrounding villages are suffering from water and air pollution.
Is this what we call a good innovative for waste segregation?
In my opinion, the government should take up composting seriously and enforce a complete ban on collection of wet garbage from the societies. Installing composting units should be made compulsory to all the housing societies in Pune.
If not there should be different vans for dry and wet waste or at least separate huge buckets, Kadam added.
Shounak Kambli, Active citizen echoing similar sentiments says, “The segregation is carried out effectively in 70 per cent of societies, however, PMC has failed to do their job like always.
The authorities are not consistent with their decision, by following the guidelines from Swatch Bharat that states that wet waste should be composted in the premises itself.
However, due to the negligence they still pick up the wet waste and combine while dumping. There is no point of segregation at an individual level if they’re later combined in heaps and left untreated, Kambli added.
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