Pune Municipal Corporation has, seemingly, succeeded in sweeping the garbage management issue under the carpet for now, following talks yesterday with angry residents of Urali Devachi and Ramtekdi villages.
lit(t)eral truth: After agitating in front of the PMC building, the protesters entered Deshmukh's cabin, and dumped waste on his table. Pic/ Mohan Patil
The civic body has decided to take an initiative to run the large waste processing plant operated by Hanjer Biotech Energies Pvt Ltd, by taking responsibility of wages of workers as well as electricity bills.
Meanwhile, despite knowing the limitations of the PMC administration to solve this complex issue, political parties have continued agitating.
Waste of space: An overflowing garbage container at Nana Peth. File Pic
In fact, yesterday, members of BJP not only protested, but also dumped garbage on the table of newly-appointed civic chief Vikas Deshmukh to make a point.
“Lack of political will of ruling parties to find both short and long-term solutions on waste management is the main reason behind this ongoing protest. By decentralising garbage collection, PMC has to build a system to treat waste in various parts of the city itself,” said BJP’s city head Anil Shirole.
On his part, Deshmukh is planning to impose a ban on both plastic bags as well as thermocol.
“I have already put in a proposal to strictly prohibit plastic carry bags in the city. Our party is still firm on this stand,” BJP leader Ashok Yenpure said.
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena has also called for a protest on the waste management issue on Friday. Interestingly, besides agitating, no party has offered an immediate solution.
PMC officials held a lengthy meeting with villagers. Though representatives of the civic body are claiming that now the locals are quite positive about the issue and will allow PMC vehicles to enter the garbage depots, during the meeting the villagers demanded that all the waste brought to the depots should be treated immediately rather than just being dumped there.
This is currently not feasible for PMC, owing to lack of infrastructure.
“As the Hanjer project is not working efficiently, in this meeting we pondered the point that whether PMC can run this plant by providing help in the form of workers’ salaries, as well as electricity bills to the contractor,” a top PMC official said on the condition of anonymity.
However, even if the corporation decides to run the Hanger plant, it has to take the approval of both the standing committee as well as the general body, and this process will take at least a month. Meanwhile, over the last three days the city has been stinking because of brimming garbage containers.
While the Hanger plant is expected to treat 1,000 tonnes of garbage a day, currently it is processing about 300 tonnes. As a result, the Urali Devachi garbage depot has become a dumping ground, and this is the main reason behind the ongoing protest of the villagers.
After yesterday’s meeting, even if PMC starts to collect waste in the city immediately, it will take at least a week
to empty the teeming garbage containers