In Indore, segregation norms get dumped with garbage

Vinit, Indore: Very few Indore residents are following waste segregation norms laid down by the government even

as a recent survey put Madhya Pradesh among top four states in the country in implementing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet Swachh Bharat initiative.
As per the recently amended Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Management Rules 2016, it is the responsibility of the generators to segregate waste into three categories – wet, dry and hazardous. The rule also has a provision to impose fine for non-segregation of waste at source.
But very few people in the city seem to be aware of it, forcing hundreds of waste pickers to spend hours in manually separating reusable materials from the garbage.
The lack of awareness about the rule is also affecting achievement of Swachh Mission goals by the city even as in the past two years it witnessed marked improvement in door-to-door collection of garbage in many areas.
The recent survey – conducted by citizen engagement platform LocalCircles – said Madhya Pradesh along with Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra showed the most improvement in garbage collection or cleanliness.
There are about 5,000 waste pickers in Indore, apart from 5,000 odd recognised sanitation workers, who separate about 250 metric ton of reusable waste every day.
They use their bare hands, exposing themselves to numerous diseases, to carry out the job.
The city generates about 900 metric ton of waste every day, and the municipal corporation spends crores of rupees on collection and transportation.
“People dispose both dry and wet waste in the same vat. They also dump syringes and hazardous waste there, posing threat to our health,” said a waste picker, Kamla Bai.
“With the introduction of door-to-door garbage collection in the city, the livelihood of these 5,000 waste pickers is at stake. The district administration or the civic body should provide them skill development training to sustain their livelihoods,” said Krishnarjun Burvey, a city-based social worker working towards better livelihood for waste pickers.
The civic body, however, did not consider these waste pickers as sanitation workers, he said.
Indore Municipal Corporation will be spending about `10 crore towards the Swachh Bharat awareness campaign this fiscal.