Slum waste collection project yet to take off

30 September, 2018

The civic administration is yet to select agencies and draw up the two-year contract for door-to-door waste collection from over 1.90 lakh slum tenements in the lake city. This is despite the tenders being invited two months ago. The tendering process that began in the first week of July was due for completion by July 16 after which the collection was supposed to start.

The proposal, which was discussed in the civic budget of 2018-2019, seems to be moving at a snail pace with the solid waste management (SWM) department yet to zero in on the local agencies.

Balaji Haldekar, medical officer at SWM department of the Thane Municipal Corporation said, “We had conducted a physical survey of the slum pockets in the city and had identified 127 such areas. We are yet to choose from the four agencies that we have managed to narrow down upon. We want to conduct a background check of the groups as they will be signing a contract with us for the next two years. Once the investigation is over we will finalize the proposal with the standing committee members. Work will begin soon after.”

The slum dwellers have been upset over the sheer civic apathy and claimed that they are now being forced to dump their waste in the nullahs as the garbage collection vans are not easily accessible in the interior slum pockets.

“The idea behind the proposal is to ensure 100% solid waste collection from slums where the garbage vans cannot reach. Even though the vans do ply on the main road no one comes inside the slum areas to pick up the litter. Two bins have been kept but they too get filled in a day. No one disposes the waste from these bins. So we are forced to throw garbage in the nearby nullahs,” said Lakshmi Bhandari, a resident of Majiwada’s Nalpada slum area.

A few environment activists are happy with the waste collection project and hope it works out soon.

Dr Lata Ghanshamnani who had started the first slum waste management initiative at Anandnagar said, “If TMC has been proposing door-to-door collection of waste in slum areas it is a good idea. The slum dwellers are ready to give us the waste but all they want is regular pick-up facility. If this challenge is met soon, there is nothing like it.”


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