Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Probe into irregularities in garbage collection

Probe into irregularities in garbage collection


BBMP entrusts BMTF with the inquiry

Irregularities in cleaning, transportation and disposal of MSW uncovered

GIS cell could not locate the movement of more than 70 trucks

— Photo: K. Murali Kumar

Unhygienic: Garbage remains uncleared across Banglore since Sunday owing to Deepavali holidays.

Bangalore: After facing public criticism for tardy garbage clearance in many wards, and the illegal dumping of municipal solid waste on the city’s outskirts, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has ordered a full-fledged inquiry into the irregularities in the process of garbage-clearing by the private contractors.

In his order issued in this regard on October 14, BBMP Commissioner S. Subramanya entrusted the inquiry to the Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF), headed by Inspector-General of Police N.R. Nadamani.

What prompted the inquiry? Apart from a large number of complaints from people about non-clearance of garbage for many days, the BBMP has also uncovered serious irregularities in cleaning, transportation and disposal of MSW by the contractors. They were able to do this after the installation of GIS instruments on every truck that was authorised to transport garbage to treatment plants and dumping sites.

The GIS was installed to check the movements of trucks to keep a vigil on time schedule on garbage clearance and to monitor the location of garbage dumped by the trucks.

According to BBMP officials, the GIS monitoring cell has revealed that the computerised system could not locate the movement of more than 70 trucks on which GIS instruments were installed.

Interestingly, though movements of these trucks were not recorded in the monitoring cell, the concerned medical officers of health had certified that these trucks were transporting garbage regularly.

On verification, it was found that the contractors had removed the instruments illegally without intimating the BBMP, but claimed that the trucks were transporting garbage. When questioned, the contractors, BBMP officials said, gave “baseless” answers. They said they removed the GIS instruments as the trucks had to cover a distance beyond the designated locations to dump garbage following opposition by the local people for dumping garbage in their villages.

The officials pointed that the contractors did not have to travel beyond the designated dumping yards as claimed by them. The BBMP annually pays about Rs. 120 crore for contractors for cleaning, garbage collection and transportation in East, West and South zones.

Also, when the contractors were asked to produce all the 196 trucks registered with the BBMP for transportation of garbage, it was found than 80 trucks produced were not originally registered with the authorities.

As per the condition, each contractor will have to employ about 600 to 700 personnel for garbage collection and cleaning.

However, the authorities suspect that contractors have employed only a few personnel despite claiming salary for all.

This could be the main cause for the irregular cleaning and collection of garbage in many parts of the city, the officials point out.


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