More money to sweep, less for garbage collection in Bellandur

Bellandur is one of the largest wards in Bengaluru. Of late, it has been in news for inefficient garbage collection and burning of garbage in public places.

A few months ago, a new garbage contract was awarded to Bellandur. The residents allege that the new system is unscientific and designed to fail. The monthly waste management expenditure for Bellandur ward till August 2016 was Rs 35 lakh. A new contract was awarded in September 2016 and the contract amount was revised to Rs 45 lakh per month.

But the difference was not just in cost calculation. The entire system of garbage collection was modified without a precise logic. When the previous contract was in place, the number of civic workers employed was 199 and the garbage collection vehicles were 36 for the entire ward. In the new contract system, the number of civic workers was increased to 315 and vehicles were reduced to 24.

Now the residents are wondering on what basis the number of civic workers meant for road sweeping were increased. Does it mean the number of roads in Bellandur has increased? Where is the data to prove the same? And why did the number of vehicles meant for garbage collection dip from 36 to 24? These are the questions bothering residents.

As per 2011 census, the total number of households in Bellandur ward was 22,000. According to BBMP, there should be one garbage vehicle for 750 houses. That is, going by five-year old figure, Bellandur needs minimum 30 vehicles. And the number of households has been expanded in last five years after the census. Hence naturally, the ward needs more garbage collection vehicles (50-60 according to an estimate). When this is the situation, residents ask, why the reduction in number of collection and transportation vehicles all of a sudden.

Solid waste management activists from the ward complain that, as a result of this, door-to-door waste collection is not happening efficiently in Bellandur. The vehicles are mainly used for black-spot cleaning and waste from houses is collected once in 3-4 days.

What the BBMP says

However the BBMP officials argue that the new system is backed with logic. In August 2016, Joint Commissioner (Solid Waste Management) issued a circular to all BBMP zones directing them to deploy one civic worker for every 0.5 km and one auto tipper for garbage collection for every 750 houses.

“Before this circular was issued, there was one civic worker for one km. Understanding the need to have more civic workers to clean the streets,the number was revised. And according to our calculation (based on 2011 census), the number of independent houses in Bellandur ward is 18,000. Hence, 24 garbage collection auto tippers are sufficient,” Mahadevapura Superintendent Engineer Nagaraj told Citizen Matters.

Further, he said that the new contract system was planned based on the report submitted by Infrastructure Development Corporation (Karnataka) Ltd (iDeCK).

Let us know!

Is this the story of Bellandur alone or that of entire Bengaluru? Would you, as an active citizen of your ward, help us know how is the situation in your ward – is it the same, worse or better in your ward? All you need to do is to visit your ward office and get the copy of latest and the previous garbage contract work orders and share it with us! You can also submit it here:

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The News Desk at Citizen Matters puts out Press Releases, notifications and curated information useful to the urban reader.