July 13: The Pollution Control Board, Assam, has asked the Guwahati Municipal Corporation to make the garbage collection and disposal system in the city more efficient.
In a letter to the civic body last week, the board described the initiatives as “inappropriate”.
The letter, written by board chairman R.M. Dubey, among other things, suggested that the distance between two successive bins should not be more than 400m.
He said, “The number and size of the waste collecting bins that are now used are not proportionate to the amount of garbage generated. It is rather less. The bins should be placed in accordance with the volume of garbage generated.”
The letter has come at a time when rotting food stuffed in polythene bags lie scattered around garbage vats. This is a common sight, making some of the city’s arterial roads look shabby. The roadsides have turned into garbage dumps making it an eyesore.
Despite various steps taken by the GMC, like sophisticated garbage collection trucks and vans, the city is still brimming with trash.
The board authorities said they had observed that garbage was collected once in every one or two days. But this is not enough for a city where thousands of tonnes of garbage is generated every day. Dubey said garbage should be collected twice a day.
To combat this problem, the board also said the vats at market places should be different from the general domestic ones. This is because the amount of garbage generated is not similar to the ones produced at home.
The chairman added that the collection of garbage from vats made for commercial establishments should be made more frequent.
The GMC, however, has been violating its own bylaws. Shops and commercial establishments dump garbage in the municipal bins located in the residential areas, thereby violating bylaws 15 and 17.
The GMC (collection, removal and disposal of solid wastes and efficient cleaning and scavenging of streets, drains and premises) Bye-laws, 2000, that came into effect from 2001 has not been enforced properly.
According to bylaw 15, all commercial establishments within the municipal area have been prohibited from depositing wastes into these municipal bins.
The chairman said the civic body should recruit trained people for segregation of biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste.
It also said vats that are already filled should be collected and replaced with a clean one. Otherwise, when the mechanical arm of the collection truck or the helper shifts the litter from the overflowing bin to the vehicle, there is always a risk of the litter spilling onto the road which is then left unclean.
The garbage collector says it is the sweeper’s job and vice-versa.