Express news service
NAMAKKAL: Garbage collection has become difficult for the administration of Namakkal municipality due to the lack of cleaners and vehicles, since the municipality’s boundaries were widened in 2011.
According to municipal officials, as the number of wards increased from 30 to 39 after the municipality’s boundaries were widened, the number of health personnel should also have increased to 750 corresponding to the increase in population. However, there are only 400 employees now, which makes collecting garbage from all households a difficult task. “We also have to deal with poultry farms and small industrial units dumping their waste on the outskirts of the city. There is an order of the Union government against the use of trolleys for waste collection, but no local state body is following the order. Even in Namakkal there are more than 80 push carts, ”an official said.
More than 1,500 tonnes of waste was thrown into the landfill here during the pandemic period. However, none showed up to pick it up due to fear of the virus, he said, acknowledging the urgent need to focus on waste management.
According to sources in the municipality, the guidelines of the Swachh Bharat mission require establishments producing more than 100 kg of waste per day to install a biogas plant on their premises and convert the waste into energy. Although 60 of these commercial establishments have been identified and trained on this subject, they have not set up biogas plants. Instead, they recycled the waste and used it for their own purposes. “However, we only collect plastic waste from them as it is salable. For this, a service charge of Rs 3,000 is collected from them every six months,” the sources added.
Namakkal Municipality (ME) Engineer G Sugumar told TNIE that more than 35 tons of solid waste is regularly collected here. “We have four micro-composting centers (MCCs) in the city. A total of 16 tonnes of waste is converted into fertilizer by MCCs. In accordance with a memorandum of understanding signed with the UltraTech cement plant in Ariyalur, we transport 10 tonnes of waste per day for free, ”he said.
In addition, he said the municipality would monitor the outskirts of town where people were dumping rubbish along the road. “The investigation is underway to find where the cameras can be installed. We have also sent a proposal for setting up another MCC here. Work for this will start soon,” he added.