Procedural haggling leaves garbage piling up

As complaints rise, conservancy inspectors are planning to take up the issue with Corporation Commissioner

Solid waste management has become challenging for the Greater Chennai Corporation owing to the tussle between conservancy inspectors and private supervisors in the wards of seven zones where the work has been outsourced.

Garbage has been piling up on the premises of bulk waste generators and along the roads as private supervisors have been refusing to comply with the instructions of the Corporation’s conservancy inspectors.

Once a complaint is filed by a resident on helpline 1913, it is the duty of the conservancy inspector concerned to take the initiative to get the garbage cleared. In the past, all private supervisors used to comply with the instructions of conservancy inspectors.

After supervisors of the private conservancy operator Urbaser Sumeet took charge, they have stopped taking instructions from conservancy inspectors and refuse to clean garbage in areas identified by the latter, sources said. The conservancy inspectors have planned to hold a meeting on Tuesday and then meet the Commissioner the next day to complain against the private conservancy officials.

It has been a practice for conservancy workers to redress the grievances of residents’ associations and party leaders about piling up of garbage. Under the new system, each ward has reported more than 10 such instances every day, sources said.

For the past few months, the issues flagged by residents to conservancy inspectors have not been redressed.

App rolled out

The private conservancy operator has launched an app to directly attend to such complaints in the zones of Teynampet, Kodambakkam, Alandur, Adyar, Sholinganallur, Perungudi and Valasaravakkam, they point out. Former councillors stress the need for monitoring by conservancy inspectors in these zones.

“The conservancy inspectors are a bridge between the residents and the private operator. Without their monitoring the work, the private conservancy operator will not be able to resolve civic issues reported by the public,” said S. Mangala Raj, former councillor.

Corporation Chief Engineer N. Mahesan said the civic body would continue to use the services of conservancy inspectors in the privatised zones. “They will be monitoring all micro compost centres and resource recovery centres and other wet and dry waste processing plants. Conservancy inspectors will carry out daily monitoring of source segregation and door-to-door collection and overall monitoring of conservancy activities in the ward,” he added.

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