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Call for waste removal from Kolkata neighbourhoods at night, too

Rolling out regular conservancy service at night would call for additional personnel

Subhajoy Roy | Published 29.04.23, 07:37 AM
Representational image

Representational image

File picture

Several councillors of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) said on Friday that clearing waste only in the morning may not suffice to keep the city’s streets clean given how rapidly the character of neighbourhoods is changing.

What was once a quiet residential neighbourhood has now multiple cafes, restaurants and pubs, some of which remain open past midnight, and also offices.


Southern Avenue and Purna Das Road, and the streets branching off them, in south Kolkata are among the stretches that have seen such transformation.

A resident of Sovabazar in north Kolkata said the ground floor, and in some cases even an upper floor, of many houses have been rented out to restaurants, eateries, shops and offices. The change is gradual, going on for years.

Mayoral council member Debasish Kumar stressed the need for removal of waste more than once a day at a meeting of the civic house on Friday. “I think there is a need for night service, given how rapidly the character of many neighbourhood is changing,” he said.

Kumar, also the Rashbehari MLA, cited the example of his assembly constituency while speaking to The Telegraph later.

“This was a residential area a few years ago. But new hotels, cafes, shops and offices are opening up every day. When they shut down at night, they throw the day’s waste on roads,” Kumar said.

“By the time street cleaning starts the next morning, many people are already out on the streets. There are cars parked along roads and it becomes difficult to pick up waste.”

A councillor from Patuli, too, said the speed at which new shops and offices are coming up in his area, it would be good if waste cleaning is done at night, too.

Debabrata Majumdar, mayoral council member in charge of the KMC’s solid waste management department, said in the civic house the KMC is considering whether a conservancy service can be started at night.

An official of the KMC told this newspaper that a small team works at night to remove waste. But that is restricted to stretches where a “VIP movement” is scheduled or where waste was not removed earlier in the day.

Officials pointed out that rolling out a regular conservancy service at night would call for additional personnel. The KMC, they said, is already short-staffed.

Waste removal fees

Majumdar said on Friday the KMC would not shy away from taking charges for removing waste generated by commercial establishments.

The KMC on Monday decided to not collect any conservancy fee from businesses that run from a space measuring up to 500sqft. The exemption will not apply to hotels and restaurants.

Last updated on 29.04.23, 07:37 AM

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