SRINAGAR: The Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) has failed to use the equipment provided by Jammu and Kashmir Economic Reconstruction Agency (J&K ERA) two years ago for segregation of waste at the landfill site in Achan.
According to official sources at SMC, only 50 percent of the equipment has been put to use in different parts of the city. The rest is lying idle, rusting and needing plenty of repair.
The equipment provided two years ago included 1,000 handcarts and 300 cycle rickshaws. These were procured by J&K ERA from funds provided by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for improving civic sanitation in Srinagar.
The equipment was procured by SMC in September 2014 but only half of it has been put to use.
The ADB provided money for the equipment on the condition that it be used to segregate different kinds of waste at source. The construction of a new Cell 3 at the Achan landfill site in Srinagar was approved to make the landfill site last longer.
According to the SMC website, more than 380 metric tonnes of garbage and refuse are generated in Srinagar city every day. At present, 60 percent of the total waste generated is being collected by the municipality which has only so much infrastructure and manpower available for the purpose. For collection and transport of city waste from the ward level, the existing handcarts and rickshaws are being used. The waste collected from 68 wards of the municipal area is currently being dumped at Achan without any segregation.
In November last year, the ADB made a surprise inspection and followed it with a public censure of the SMC. The ADB officials expressed serious concern on the lack of commitment of the SMC towards segregation of waste at site, which the corporation despite repeated assurances had failed to do.
At that time, the ADB had made it clear that if the SMC did not repair and put the provided equipment to use, the full loan amount spent on the procurement, which is about Rs 2.6 crore, shall have to be refunded to the bank.
The ADB had also reiterated its condition for segregation of waste at source in at least 100 market places before the Cell 3 at Achan landfill site was constructed.
Acknowledging the fact, SMC chief sanitation officer Manzoor Ahmad Taray said the equipment procured two years ago had not been utilised properly. He claimed that 60 percent of the total machinery had been put to use in different municipal wards of the city.
About the segregation of waste at the landfill site, he said, “It will be started in a couple of months.”