- Semi-underground dustbins will help Vijayawada tackle its garbage problem
- Civic body is using technology extensively for real time updates
- A total of Rs 21 crore has been provided by Swachh Andhra Corporation
Come January 2018, the third edition of Swachh Survekshan, the Ministry of Urban Affairs’ annual ranking of cities based on cleanliness, will begin its assessment. Stepping up from previous year’s 434 cities, the Survekshan of 2018 will include 4,041 cities, thus making it the biggest urban cleanliness ranking scheme of India. City municipal corporations have begun their preparations to rapidly improve cleanliness, sanitation and waste management in their cities and in doing so, hope to improve their previous ranking and secure better scores.
The Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) has also began its preparations for the Swachh Survekshan 2018 in full swing. Vijayawada had done well in Swachh Survekshan 2017 and secured the 19th position, but is determined to break into the top 10 this year and is ensuring that no stones remain unturned in its efforts. The municipal body has got a grant of 21 crore from the Swachh Andhra Pradesh Corporation, the state’s apex body in charge of implementing the objectives of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
Vijayawada generates nearly 550 metric tonnes of solid waste every day. The presence of a composting plant in the city is not enough to treat the waste generated by the city and an estimated 70 to 80 metric tonnes of waste is dumped in landfills and roadsides in the city.
In early 2017, post several complaints of garbage dumps in residential areas, the VMC decided to install two smart semi-underground bins at Ayodhya Nagar and Loyola College. These bins, each costing 16 lakh have been installed six-feet below the surface level and get filled by vehicles which collect garbage The attached sensors in these bins inform the VMC officials whenever these bins are full, following which vehicles can go and collect the garbage from these bins, empty them for use again.
On receiving complaints of garbage being dumped on roads, we bought these two machines and installed them on an experimental basis. When the experiment turned out to be successful, we decided to go ahead with these dustbins and install them throughout the city, said Chandrashekhar, Additional Commissioner, Vijayawada Municipal Corporation.
The civic body has finalised the locations where the rest of the 125 such semi-underground dustbins will be installed. With the installation of these dustbins and the sensors informing VMC officials of their status, VMC has completed the successful fusion of technology giving updates to its officials on every civic aspect of the city. VMC officials are already informed (via the civic body’s app), on the status of roads, dustbins, toilets and services of sanitation staff.
If our officials are not getting real time information, we cannot work to ensure that all the civic structures of the city are functioning properly. With the implementation of these dustbins, our civic officials will get information on the status of the installed dustbins and know when to empty them, said Mr Chandrashekhar.
The VMC is also planning to implement its organic manure programme comprehensively. The corporation will compost up to 350 metric tonnes of wet garbage into organic manure and sell it at Rs 10 per kg. Garbage collected from vegetable markets will be crucial for VMC’s organic manure plan.
The VMC has substantially spent on improving the city’s sanitation scenario, by building over 70 public toilets in the last two years, as well as purchasing seven road sweeping machines worth Rs 3.5 crore.
If VMC is successful in getting its semi-underground dustbin idea to work, then the civic body indeed has a healthy chance of breaking into the list of India’s top 10 cleanest cities, come 2018.