GVMC struggles to collect garbage charge as people strongly resist

Apartment associations urge the civic body to reconsider the decision

The Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) has come under strong criticism for asking the staff to collect charges for garbage collection in the city. It was learnt that most of the households were reluctant to pay the charge of ₹120 and have been demanding the corporation to withdraw the decision.

Volunteers from Ward Sachivalayams and sanitary workers in several wards have informed the households in their localities that garbage collection tax of about ₹120 should be paid to the corporation from the month of December. However, a number of households are not ready to pay the amount.

“Not just individual or group houses, even several households in apartments are resisting to pay. They question why do they need to pay when no sanitary worker comes till their door, as garbage is collected by the watchman only and kept on the ground floor,” said a volunteer from the city.

It may be remembered that the garbage collection charges proposal was passed in the GVMC Council during July 2021.

The decision to levy charges on garbage collection was drawing flak since the idea was mooted long ago.

General Secretary of Visakhapatnam Apartment Residents Welfare Association (VARWA) B.B. Ganesh said that the sachivalayam staff have been asked us to pay ₹120 for each household in our apartment.

“Our apartment association has decided not to pay the amount and take up this issue with the GVMC officials. There is resistance to the garbage tax collection proposal from all section of people, but the GVMC is still taking it forward,” he said.

K.S.R. Murthy from Andhra Pradesh Federation of Resident Welfare Association said that some apartments people are paying the charges, while some are reluctant to pay. He said that residents feel that ₹120 is too high.

“Already each household is paying about ₹30 for garbage collection, which may be unofficial. Monthly these charges are included in maintenance charges itself in most of the apartments. Increasing the amount to ₹120 is condemned. The GVMC should reconsider the decision,” he added.

CPI(M) leader and Corporator of Ward 78, B. Ganga Rao, said that the party is teaming up with resident welfare associations to agitate against the garbage collection charges very soon.

A senior officer from the GVMC said that the decision has taken a political turn as the Opposition and the Left parties have been strongly opposing and campaigning against the idea.

“Opposition party leaders have been strongly asking people not to pay the charges. In the meanwhile, several videos of people resisting to pay charges and messages are widely circulated on social media,” the officer added demanding anonymity.

Admitting that there is resistance on garbage charges, GVMC Commissioner G. Lakshmisha said that it is a government’s decision. He agreed that there is political angle behind the resistance. He said that the issue will be handled carefully and the GVMC will take up awareness programmes to explain about the garbage collection charges clearly.

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