In an attempt to improve waste management, Bhopal Municipal Corporation has roped in NGOs that provide the manpower for door to door garbage collection. Speaking to Clean India Journal, Vipat Kumar Verma, the Project Coordinator for the NGO ‘The Carmelites of Mary Immaculate’ says, “We indirectly support the BMC by providing the required manpower for door to door collection.” The workers are mostly rag pickers that work for the BMC at
र3000 a month.
There are three to four NGOs that work for a similar project in the city. The NGOs provide 400 to 500 workers for waste collection and also train supervisors to monitor the work and also report any complains by citizens.The corporation employs around 3000 employees to collect garbage from 55,000 households in the city. Currently, around 12 auto-rickshaws converted into garbage collecting vehicles and 80 cycle-rickshaws have been collecting garbage from 55,000 houses in the city; with more than 100 garbage collection vehicles arriving in a month. The BMC charges Re one per day from each household for the service.
“The biggest problem for the city is that uncollected garbage finds itself in piles along the roads and around open drains. This garbage then goes on to clog the drains that cause overflowing of the same in monsoons. The situation is improving with the Corporation and government authorities taking steps to maintain hygiene in the state,” says Vipat Kumar.
The BMC collects garbage from all over the city and the fees are levied on sqft basis. There are different rates for households, hotels, and commercial establishments. When work in a new area is undertaken, a survey is done after two to three months, to see the impact of the programme. This is done to sustain a work undertaken for efficient results. Usually a couple is given a rickshaw and an area of over 400 households, from where they collect the garbage and dump it at the designated dumping centre, from where the corporation vehicles transport it to the landfill.
The work undertaken by the NGO is done with no financial assistance from the Corporation. There are constant efforts to make the corporation more involved with the programme and become partners with equal responsibilities. The response from the public has been generally favourable.
To make sure that the work is done efficiently, there are some improvements that Vipat Kumar Verma suggests; “the issues with payments if sorted out will motivate the workers and attract more workers for the programme. The BMC should take care of the workers with respect to their health and hygiene. Being ignorant of personal hygiene they do not put much emphasis on cleaning themselves after collecting the waste, usually done with bare hands; it may unknowingly expose themselves and their loved ones to infections and diseases. The BMC should protect them by giving protective kits including gloves, masks and knee high rubber boots.”
To spread awareness among the workers, they are trained by experts on various important topics like health and hygiene, children education, cooperative studies, fundamental rights etc. to ensure overall development.