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A way out for waste disposal

Concerned over the increasing pile-up of litter and shortage of dumping space, the state government has decided to overhaul the city’s solid waste management.

The comprehensive project — including collection, transportation and disposal of garbage — will be implemented with technical and financial support from the Japanese Bank for International Co-operation (JBIC), said urban development department officials.

A team of JBIC officials recently met urban development minister Asok Bhattacharya at Writers’ Buildings and expressed their willingness to be involved in the project.

“We are concerned over the growing problems in solid waste management in and around the city, as the Dhapa dumping ground has overshot its capacity. The quantity of litter is increasing rapidly because, apart from the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC), garbage from the adjacent areas is also being dumped there,” the minister said.

“Municipalities like Dum Dum, South Dum Dum, North Dum Dum, Baranagar, Kamarhati and Panihati are facing serious problems in dumping refuse. We plan to develop a site, which is convenient for the suburbs as well,” he added.

A JBIC team will study the city’s environment and community development, and conduct a survey on the solid waste management, said the minister. The experts, he added, would also hold a workshop with officials from the CMC, CMDA and other municipalities, following which the project blueprint will be drawn up.

Bhattacharya said the project proposal, along with its financial implication and funding pattern, would be finalised by the year-end, adding that his department has already started hunting for the second site in the north-east of the city.

Officials of the urban development department said the government did not want to increase the volume of litter at Dhapa as the area off Eastern Metropolitan Bypass was emerging as a developing zone with highrises, hotels and a string of high-profile projects coming up.

“Earlier, Dhapa and its surrounding areas used to be vacant. But now, the situation has changed. A dumping ground off the Bypass is not desirable,” said Bhattacharya.

Echoing the minister, mayor Subrata Mukherjee said: “The city is expanding in the east. The Dhapa dumping ground looks quite incongruous with the new look of the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass. Besides, the entire garbage disposal system needs to be revamped.”

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