Running out of steam

Running out of steam

What started with a bang in October 2012 could hardly be sustained for a while. The solid waste management programme, which was made mandatory by the then BBMP commissioner Rajneesh Goel, seems to have fizzled out. Metrolife interacts with citizens and activists to find out the reasons for the short-term impact.

According to Vani Murthy, an active citizen, the initiative will be sustained only if it is enforced as a law. “Only then will people go about making sure that they are an active part of the initiative. The problem is that there is no one keeping a check on this. People need to be sensitised. Along with these issues, there usually is disregard for the rules here. The problem is that no one wants to take any responsibility,” she explains, adding that a lifestyle change is required to practise solid-waste management. “It is now the responsibility of the government to put things in place. Otherwise, with what is happening, people are losing faith in the system,” she says.

NS Ramakanth, an active member of Solid Waste Management Round Table, attributes the poor implementation of the programme to frequent changes of guard. “There have been too many changes in recent times. We need to give officials some time to settle down and understand the issue. All these matters take time. But there is no doubt that it is taking a beating,” he says. According to Ramakanth, the process needs to be streamlined. “We are hoping that things will change for the better,” he says.

Sandya Narayanan, a member of the Solid Waste Management Round Table, Bangalore, elaborates, “Fundamentally, it is not working because the collecting mechanism is not supporting the pick up of segregated waste. Even though the number of dry-waste collection centres is seeing progressive increase, the wet-waste collection centres are not in place,” she explains.

She goes on to add that without operational collection centres, things will not fall in line.
“There have to be visible centres. There are around 17 dry-waste centres at the moment. As for the wet waste centre, there is no capacity in Mandur. If the back-end does not function, there is no incentive for contractors to do much,” she says.

Emphasising the need for citizens to take it seriously, she says, “At present, things are moving, but very slowly and not at the desired pace.”

According to BBMP commissioner M Laxmi Narayan, the authorities are still looking into matters.

“We are looking into the needs of people and what changes are to be made. We are also working on increasing the number of dry-waste collection centres. Right now, we are focussing on bulk generators,” he explains.

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