The Ghaziabad municipal corporation has identified major key areas for improvement with regard to door-to-door solid waste collection and source segregation, and will penalise violators ahead of the 2023 edition of the Swachh Survekshan (SS-2023), officials said on Thursday.
The officials said that one of the teams from SS-2023 had visited the city in January for the survey, while the next one is likely to be conducted by the end of February or March.
Last year, Ghaziabad stood 12th nationally in the 1 to 4 million population category in the 2022 Swachh Survekshan. In 2021, the city secured the 18th place under the category, 19th position in 2020 and in 2019, it secured the 13th position.
“We are gearing up for the survey and identified two major key focus areas of improvement in door-to-door solid waste collection coverage and also source segregation of solid waste at source. We have about 463 door-to-door collection vehicles to cover 100 residential wards and coverage of about 70-80%. We plan to increase monitoring and coverage by hiring at least 50 more vehicles,” said Nitin Gaur, municipal commissioner.
The other key focus area is the segregation of wet and dry waste at source, Gaur said.
“For this, we have planned a roadmap. Up to March 2, we will raise awareness among residents to segregate dry and wet waste before handing it over to our vehicles. From March 3, we will start penalising them in case of violation. The penalty will range from ₹50 to ₹5,000 depending on the type of area,” Gaur added.
The city at present has an estimated outflow of about 1,200 metric tonnes of daily solid waste.
According to officials, a majority of bulk waste generators, which are establishments generating more than 50kg of waste per day, do not have plants/facilities for processing wet waste.
“As per our survey, there are about 950 different establishments in the bulk waste generator category and these contribute about 250MT of daily waste. Among these, only about 140 have the required facility to process wet waste and rest is to be handed over to the corporation. We have given them one month’s time to set up their facilities,” said Mithilesh Kumar, the corporation’s city health officer.
Environmentalists said that there has been an improvement in solid waste collection measures over the past several years, but certain areas need improvement.
“The construction of proposed waste to energy plant at Galand is yet to start and is pending for past several years now. Further, the waste collection in unauthorised colonies is still not proper and the corporation manpower is still lacking knowledge and impact of non-segregation of dry and wet waste. These areas need major improvement besides enforcement,” said Vikrant Sharma, a city-based environmentalist.
In SS-2023, additional weightage has been given to source segregation of waste, enhancement of waste processing capacity of cities to match the waste generation and reduction of waste going to the dumping sites. Ranking of wards within the cities is also being promoted. Under the survey, evaluation will be conducted in four phases instead of three, and citizen validation and field assessment of processing facilities is being introduced.