Mumbai, (The Hindu): Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation’s (MBMC) Swachh Bharat drive has suffered a setback with private conservancy workers declaring a strike and refusing to collect garbage from societies till residents begin segregating waste.
The workers have also demanded a hike in wages as their workload has increased following the refusal by municipal workers to also collect unsegregated garbage. Around 380 to 400 metric tonnes of garbage is cleared every day in Mira-Bhayandar.
For the past three days, residents have been forced to dispose of garbage at a common dumpster put up in each locality. On Sunday morning, residents were in for a shock when no one came to clear the garbage piled up in front of their doors. Soni, a private conservancy worker, said, “We are not collecting garbage as municipal conservancy workers have refused to clear unsegregated garbage for the past few months.”
Soni, whose family has been in the profession for the past 10 years, said, “Ever since the municipal workers went on strike, we have been caught in a bind.” Soni and her colleagues picked up garbage on Tuesday, but she said it was “just a one-off case.” Soni said, “We picked up garbage on Tuesday because we wanted to follow our ethics. But if households continue to dump unsegregated waste, we will have to boycott again.”
Dr. Sambhaji Panpatte, Deputy Commissioner, MBMC, said, “On October 2, 2016, we launched a cleanliness drive and held several meetings with Resident Welfare Associations to urge them to segregate wet and dry waste, and to keep Mira-Bhayandar clean. When they refused to comply, we sent a final notice to all societies in March 2017 asking them to segregate garbage.” Mr. Panpatte said, “The dry garbage treatment plant in Uttan was commissioned on June 20. The plant for treating wet garbage will be functional in November.”
Naresh Soni, secretary, New Venkatesh Sagar Housing Society in Bhayandar, said, “Following the strike, we have asked all households to segregate waste.” In September 2016, the MBMC launched a system for grading housing societies within its limits based on several parameters, including segregation of dry and wet waste. MBMC was the first municipality to launch the scheme and based on its success it was to be replicated across the State.
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