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Kolkata Municipal Corporation dreams of vat-free Kolkata
January, 10th 2014

Officials of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation's solid waste management department may soon realize the dream - of a vat-free city - that they had started nurturing after the introduction of mechanized compactors last year. Following a meeting held in Delhi, Union urban development officials in charge of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) has passed the technical bid of a Rs 100-crore project.

The Centre has accepted the civic body's logic that primary collection and disposal of garbage should be mechanized to make Kolkata a garbage-free city. The JNNURM officials have, in fact, agreed to release Rs 110 crore though KMC officers had submitted a Rs 100-crore plan.

"We are elated that the Centre has realized the importance of the project that will help in cleaning up the city. Now we are waiting for the Centre to approve the project and release the fund," Debabrata Majumder, mayor-in-council member overseeing the KMC solid waste management department said.

The achievement has been a result of hard work and long persuasion of Subhasish Chattopadhyay, the deputy chief engineer of the KMC solid waste management department whose relentless effort to make the city cleaner have been praised by officials of the Union urban development.

Once the garbage disposal modernization project is implemented, there will be as many as 78 modern garbage transfer stations - located at vantage points of the city - fitted with modern vehicles and equipment. These stations will replace large garbage vats that litter the road.

Currently, there are five such stations, one each at Kalighat, Southern Avenue, Ballygunge Circular Road, Tallah, Chetla and on Samsul Huda Road. However, the KMC needs to strive hard to replace all major vats since there are no less than 150 such vats in Kolkata. This apart, the KMC plans to buy movable compactors to collect garbage from roadside vats. "We have planned to buy more than 100 such compactors. Besides, we will buy battery operated vans for collection of garbage directly from houses," said Subhasish Chattopadhyay, the deputy chief engineer of the KMC solid waste management department.

Meanwhile, a section of officials working for the Kolkata Environment Improvement Project (KEIP) felt that the Union urban development ministry's instruction to arrange for a proper garbage dumping ground had already outlived its utility. The civic officials are, however, working overtime to prepare a detailed project report for construction of the new dumping ground. "We have been searching land in Rajarhat and along EM Bypass for the new dumping ground," said a KMC official.

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