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Kolkata to become Indias first vat-free city
August, 27th 2013

Trinamool Congress controlled Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has sought Rs. 100 crore from the Union ministry for urban development to set up 70-75 compactor stations - alternatives to open vats in Kolkata.

“We have already sent a detailed project report (DPR) estimating around R100 crore of central funding under JNNURM scheme in a bid to do away with the age-old system of garbage collection in the city,” a senior official of KMC’s solid waste management department told HT.

The DPR suggests setting up of 70-75 compactor stations in the city, buying around 20 movable compactors and around 300 large sized - 1,100 litre garbage bins - for Kolkata to ensure it as the country’s first vat-free city.

Each compactor machine has a capacity to collect 14 metric tonnnes and can squeeze it to 10-11 metric tonnes. Around R1 crore is the cost to set up one compactor station in the city.

Highlighting the overwhelming success of the pilot project - four compactor stations in the core city - KMC bosses are projecting it as a revolution brought in the field of solid waste management in India.

According to a senior KMC official attached to the garbage collection wing, the Union ministry for urban development is showcasing Kolkata as the model city for its unique initiative.

Member, mayor-in-council (solid waste management), Debabrata Majumder, along with his top technocrats and officials had flown to Hyva manufacturing unit in Pune on August 16 and 17 to confirm an order of purchasing 10 movable compactors and is also scheduled to fly to Delhi on Monday.

“The same team will fly to Delhi on Monday to visit TPS Company - the world’s leading manufacturer of movable compactors. We are expecting to place another order for buying 10-15 movable compactors and these are in addition to the Rs. 100 crore project that has been planned,” a senior civic official added.

Currently, Kolkata has 580-600 vats of which around 50 are covered and the rest open spreading various germs.

According to civic engineers, one compactor station is an alternative to two to three open vats, which means sanctioning of R100 project would mean doing away with 50% of the open vats instantly.

“The large garbage bins of 1,100 litre capacity, which are compactor friendly, would be placed in the narrow lanes and by-lanes of the added areas of Behala, Jadavpur and Garden Reach,” a senior civic technocrat added.

A vat-free city would mean that the municipal waste collected from every household in handcarts by the conservancy staffs would directly be collected at the trucks that would dump it at Dhapa waste disposal ground.

The usual practice now is that a labourer collects household waste from every doorstep in handcarts and dumps it on the nearby open vat point.

Later on, trucks come in series to collect these wastes and they carry it to the dumping ground at Dhapa.

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