In 2010 when Trinamool Congress came to power in Kolkata Municipal Corporation, the biggest challenge that the new administration faced was to how to make the city garbage free.
The sight of open vats overflowing with garbage, animal infested garbage dumps and open wagons carrying garbage were common. Under the leadership of Ms Mamata Banerjee, the first task that the corporation undertook was to make Kolkata garbage vat free. Now the city has 49 new state-of-the-art compactor stations. These state-of-the-art compactor stations are being appreciated countrywide and Kolkata is now seen as a pioneer.
Over and above these compactor stations, the city also has 33 new ‘mobile compactors’ which travel from one area to another clearing waste due to which Kolkata is on the path to become garbage vat free.
Prior to 2010, garbage clearance was done only once in the morning. The present Government has deployed over 8000 workers under Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana to clean the city again in the afternoon. In Kolkata’s industrial hubs the task is once again undertaken in the evening. The city which was once compared to a garbage dump is now one of India’s cleanest cities.
The busiest streets of the city are washed every morning and the street curbs are cleaned with help of mechanical sweepers. The old hand pulled two wheeler carts which were used to carry garbage are now being replaced with eco-friendly, battery operated three wheelers. In the near future this system will cover all of Kolkata.
Covered compactor wagons are being used to transport the garbage to Dhapa. As Dhapa has now been declared as an international wetland, no developmental work or construction will take place in that area. The state government has allotted 20 acres of land to the KMC, to be used as a dumping ground for the city’s garbage. The waste materials will now also be used to generate electricity through ‘Waste Energy Project’, Price Water House Coopers Ltd as its consultants and global tenders have been sought. With the use of modern technology in its various departments, KMC is now doing its work more efficiently and with greater speed.
The forthcoming projects are:
1) A bioremediation project of CBIPM with grants from World Bank
2) In 137 wards, centres to separate the recyclable items like plastic, paper, etc. from biodegradable wastes are being set up. It is already operational in seven wards.
3) Minimisation of the number of open vats and direct collection of waste are being stressed upon