Newly hired NGOs fail to collect garbage regularly
Even after Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) engaging 58 non government organisations (NGOs) to collect garbage from the 31 city wards from September last, the citizens of some wards have complained that garbage collection is not regular with some of these NGOs not even having visited a few areas.
“It’s been around two months that the NGO workers have not visited our locality to collect garbage,” Dipali Das, a resident of Ujjol Path, Jyotikuchi said, adding that earlier the NGO workers used to collect garbage from the Jyotikuchi area once in four days.
Similarly, a resident of Rupnagar said that the NGO workers visit their locality only once in three days and sometimes they do not show up for even as long as a week.
After Ramky (the company that used to collect garbage from door to door in Guwahati before June 2014), GMC hired 31 NGOs for door to door garbage collection from July 2014. The contract agreements ended in June 2017 after which 58 NGOs were hired through transparent tendering process, claimed a GMC official.
Explaining why 58 NGOs were hired this time a senior GMC official said, “There are some wards which cover a huge area and it is difficult for a single NGO to cover all the households in that ward.” He added that the smaller wards have just one NGO now; some bigger wards have been divided into two and some into three parts. The NGOs hired in September are covering the wards accordingly.
Citing an example the official explained that Ward No 6 covers areas from Deepor Beel to Lokhra. So now there are three NGOs engaged in collecting garbage in that ward.
GMC to take action against irregular NGOs
Swinging the axe on the newly hired non government organisations (NGOs), the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) has decided to cancel the contract of any NGO that is not collecting garbage regularly.
Executive Engineer of GMC, Manojit Bujarbaruah said, “After receiving three complaints against a particular NGO, the contract with that NGO will be cancelled,” adding that there is a mechanism which will scrutinise the performance of the NGOs.
Bujarbaruah said that it has been just one month that the new NGOs have started working but gradually all the houses and commercial establishments in the city will be covered.
The mechanism which is in place to scrutinise the NGOs mostly depends on a toll-free complaint number (8811007000).
Any citizen can register a complaint on the number and if the complaint is not addressed within 24 hours a show cause notice will be served to the concerned NGO on why the complaint was not processed. If any NGO receives three such notices, its contract will be cancelled.
Senior officials of GMC, ward councillors, sanitary workers, NGOs and area engineers together have formed a Whatsapp group and as soon as the complaint is registered, the concerned official is expected to post the complaint on the group.
GMC incurs huge losses on garbage collection process
The door to door garbage collection process was unsuccessful till July 2017 because the system was not self sustainable and Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) had to spend Rs 30 lakhs from its coffers.
A GMC source said, “Ramky left because it was not able to generate revenue. Similarly, the 31 NGOs were also not able to make any profit because most Guwahati households do not want to pay for garbage collection,” adding that GMC loses Rs 30 lakhs every month on the project.
GMC generates Rs 5 crores to 6 crores as revenue from various taxes and the same is used to pay salaries to all the employees and initiate new projects. The state government has not been providing any extra funds since years, a GMC source claimed.
The NGOs are expected to generate revenue for the urban local body by collecting the monthly garbage collection fees.
The NGOs were expected to collect Rs 30 from each residential house and Rs 20 to Rs 100 from commercial establishments.
But the executive engineer of GMC, Manojit Bujarbaruah said, “GMC should be getting Rs 60 lakhs per month as garbage collection fees but it gets only Rs 30 lakhs.” He added that if fees were collected from all the 2.45 lakh households and 60,000 commercial establishments, there wouldn’t have been any shortage of funds. If every household pay Rs 30 per month, GMC would get Rs 73.5 lakhs and taking the commercial establishments which pay Rs 20 to Rs 100 approximately into account, another Rs 30 lakhs could be generated.
He clarified that with the NGOs being paid off, vehicle fuel/maintenance expenses and miscellaneous expenses being considered, the entire project would have self sustained; instead the GMC is incurring huge losses.
Bujarbaruah said that not even 50% of the expected money is received. Citizens of Guwahati do not want to pay and instead they prefer throwing their garbage on the roads and drains, he claimed.
• GMC hired 58 new NGOs in September 2017 for door to door garbage collection in all 31 wards
• Some wards that cover a larger area have been divided into two or three parts
• In spite of 58 NGOs covering the city residents allege that garbage collection is not regular
• GMC claims it will take strict action against errant NGOs
• Public can complain on the toll free number (8811007000) and the complaint would be processed within 24 hours
• If not the concerned NGO will be served a show cause notice
• Any NGO receiving three notices stands a chance of losing its contract
• GMC also revealed that the body loses Rs 30 lakhs every month in the process of garbage collection