KMC takes a step towards cleaner city

In a bid to make Kolkata cleaner, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation has decided to dispose of garbage from the entire city through the modern compactor method.

The State has now sanctioned a special fund for the modernization of the solid waste management scheme. In fact, buoyed by the success of the first phase of the project, even Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee has herself taken keen interest in funding the plan as Kolkata is now being perceived as a cleaner city . With assurance from the State, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation now plans to set up 19 more compactor stations and buy movable compactor machines for areas where the civic body has failed to get land for the stations.

The places where the compactor stations will be set up include Park Circus, NRS Medical College, Esplanade bus terminus, Kalighat temple, Bowbazar, Surjya Sen Street and Naktala. Stations at New Alipore, Golf Club Road and Bondel Road are already built but awaiting inauguration.

Debabrata Majumdar, member, mayor-in-council overseeing the KMC solid waste management department, said the compactor stations and movable compactors reduced the dependence on trucks carrying waste to the Dhapa dumping ground. “Once the project is fully implemented, we hope to get rid of all big vats, which dirty the roads with garbage spilling out, and the rickety trucks that carry waste to Dhapa,” the MMiC said.

In the first phase, the KMC solid waste management department built 43 compactor stations, the first one being set up near the Kalighat tram depot, followed by another one on Southern Avenue.

Inspired by the success of the two stations, the KMC built 42 more such stations. But the civic body had to put on hold the garbage disposal modernization programme for want of funds. The KMC was apparently shocked to find there was no provision for modernization of garbage disposal as the Centre refused to finance it under JNNURM. Before the civic polls last year, the KMC had approached the state to set up compactor stations and the money has finally been sanctioned.

KMC eyes more compactors to fight filth

Convinced with the efficiency of compactor stations — 43 at work and 25 more in the pipeline — Kolkata Mayor Sovan Chatterjee has given a go-ahead to the civic board to extend the service to areas where it has still not been introduced. The Kolkata Municipal Corporation also has plans to procure movable compactor machines to take care of existing garbage vats.

This is not all. Keeping in mind next year’s assembly elections, the Kolkata Mayor has made cleanliness a priority. Accordingly, the KMC solid waste management department has requisitioned 800 trash bins that will be strategically placed to collect waste from large municipal markets. The KMC is also contemplating to introduce small battery-driven cars to replace hand carts for door-to-door collection of garbage. Such battery cars are already operational in areas like Manoharpukur Road, Sarat Bose Road and parts of Rashbehari Avenue.

However, of all these measures to make Kolkata a sparkling clean city, the Trinamool board is focusing most on the construction of more compactor stations. It was in December 2012 when Kalighat got the first compactor machine in the city. Then four more stations came up, one each in Southern Avenue, Samsul Huda Road, Tallah and Chetla.

Later West Bengal Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee sanctioned a special Rs 30 crore funds for construction of compactor stations. The state funds were utilized for setting up 30 compactor stations during the period. In the last phase, the KMC set up stations at Mirza Ghalib Street to replace the infamous vat opposite the Food Corporation office. Similarly, large vats that used to spill garbage over to Camac Street, Surjya Sen Street were replaced thereafter.

The civic body will now concentrate on setting up garbage compactor machines at New Alipore, Bondel Road and Garfa Road among other areas. Initially, there was a plan to set up 78 compactor stations. But encouraged by the success of such stations, the KMC may now go up to 100 stations across the city.

“Ultimately, our aim is to make Kolkata a vat-free city. After getting a positive response from citizens, we are now committed to continue with the mission,” Kolkata Mayor Sovan Chatterjee said.