Currently two private agencies are being paid over Rs 5 cr for collection; civic body plans to float fresh tender of Rs 6.73 cr for next financial year
Who’s responsible for lifting way the waste dumped at the dark spots and along the roadsides in the commercial capital? The Margao Municipality will be spending over Rs 5 crore on the two private agencies on the door-to-door waste collection in the current financial year and the amount of funds spent on these agencies will cross the Rs 6.73 crore in the coming financial year. Or, whether the civic body is required to float another tender to clear the dark spots over and above the crores of rupees of payments made by the Municipality to the private agencies engaged for waste collection?
These and other questions remain unanswered and come to the fore as the Margao Municipality is bracing up to float a fresh tender amounting to a whopping Rs 6.73 crore for the coming financial year.
No doubt, departmental waste collection by the civic body may be out of question given that it may require a huge army of workers to execute the job in the commercial capital. Councillors and the Municipal babus, however, may have to answer a simple question – is the civic body satisfied with the waste collection work executed by the private agencies, more so when funds to the tune of over Rs 5 crore is being spent on outsourcing waste collection in the current financial year?
Or, will the councillors and the Municipal Babus do a post mortem and review the work carried out by the private agencies, more so in respect of the dark spots and waste dumped along the road sides.
MMC officials in the know in private say that keeping the dark spots clean and free from waste is part and parcel of the job the private agencies are mandated to execute every day. In the past, senior MMC officials had mulled a mechanism to ensure that the contractors not only collect door-to-door waste every day, but also keep the dark spots free from waste.
Sadly, the ground reality looks different. A ride down on the Comba ring road on Sunday revealed that waste dumped along the roadside has not been attended and collected days together, throwing up a question whether the roadside waste does not fall under the domain of the private agencies. The stretch of the Comba ring road, from the Comba subway to the Old Market-Colva road is a case in point. Just a glance at the waste dumped along the stretch would reveal that the waste lying along the roadside has not been collected for days together, raising a question or two – whether the contractors are not mandated to clear the waste dumped at the dark spots, and why the waste has not been cleared from the spots if the work falls in their domain.
Similarly, waste was found dumped along the railway tracks on the ring road below the two-wheeler bridge connecting Margao to Khareband. Take note, the site where the waste was found dumped had witnessed a host of fire incidents in the recent past, posing risk to the running trains, but a foolproof mechanism to monitor daily waste collection by the agencies seemed to have eluded the authorities till date. “The MMC needs to work out a mechanism to not just ensure that the waste is collected on a daily basis, but the system should get to know the number of workers employed by the agencies on a daily basis. For, the MMC is paying the agencies per work as per a prescribed rate and their nature of work extends to clearing the waste at the dark spots and roadsides,” remarked a civic official.