SRINAGAR: Corrosion have eaten-up hundreds of hand-carts and cycle rickshaws that were procured by Asian Development Bank (ADB) three years ago for segregation of waste at source, as Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) has failed to utilize them.
Procured by Economic Reconstruction Agency (ERA) under ADB funding of Rs 2.6 crore, some 1000 handcarts and 300 cycle rickshaws were provided to SMC for better sanitation facilities to people in Srinagar. Each cart was fitted with six dust-bins of green and blue colours for organic and inorganic waste respectively.
However, a small percentage of equipment was distributed among the sweepers and a huge number of equipments were left unutilized by SMC and nearly all of them need repairs if at all they are employed to collect waste. The equipments are at present kept inside Achan dumping site and at Illahi Bagh area of Srinagar.
The equipments were left defunct when even sweepers in Srinagar are being seen collecting waste without any segregation at source of waste or at several places sweepers are seen carrying damaged carts and plastic bags collecting waste by going home to home.
In 2015, ADB had taken strong exception to the non-utilization of equipments and had warned the SMC that if it did not repair and put these equipments to use, the full loan amount spent on this procurement shall have to be refunded through bank.
A team of ADB had an on-spot inspection of the progress made by the officials and had expressed serious concern over the non-utilization of these equipments that had been provided to facilitate segregation of waste at source in a better manner which has been kept as a precondition by ADB for approval of construction of cell 3 at Achan Landfill site in Srinagar.
Despite warning, no headway was made in utilization of these equipments even as several of them were stolen by people and few of them been taken over by government troops in Illahi Bagh after protesters used them as road barricades during summer agitation of 2016.
Chief Sanitation Officer, Syed Nisar Hassan says that all the equipments were not utilized by the corporation because they had not installed mechanical segregator at Achan.
“Whoever (among sweepers) approached the MC for equipments, he was provided. But, we didn’t distribute them (equipments) on our own and that may be the reason rest of the equipments were left unutilized,” he said.
He said that they have employed around 300 more sweepers and that these equipments would be distributed among them in coming days.