M3 Features

Makeover for Kolkata's garbage disposal system

August 19, 2013

Garbage disposal system gets revamped as Kolkata Municipal Corporation's (KMC) solid waste management department embarked on a project to make Kolkata a vat-free city. Waste compactor machines - a technology from Netherlands, are deployed at key locations in the city, for garbage to be dumped after being collected by battery operated vehicles and hand pulled carts.

The compactor's role is to squeeze the solid waste and drain out the water reducing the volume of the compacted material. After the day's disposal is over the compactors will be driven by prime movers fitted with hook loading system, and the waste materials will be dumped at Dhapa dumping ground.

16 compactors and 5 prime movers have been purchased with about Rs 4.5 crore under the Kolkata Environment Improvement Project (KEIP). A compactor costs around Rs 22 lakh and prime mover costs around Rs 26 lakh. At present compactor stations have been built at Kalighat, Southern Avenue, and Ballygunge Circular Road in the south and Tallah Park in the north.

This eco-friendly drive gives relief to commuters as they do not have to face the unbearable stench emanating from the vats. The compactors are covered and there is no spillage of garbage and seepage of water on the move.

"The installation of these modern machines has transformed this place making it unrecognizable. We do not have to confront the filthy scene everyday and tolerate the stink. It is a great step taken. Hope to see the same scene all over Kolkata," said Shantanu Mukherjee, local resident in Southern Avenue.

"I don't have to put a handkerchief now while passing this area which earlier used to produce foul smell and make this stretch a nightmare to cross," said Ayan Roy, a class 9 student of Patha Bhavan and a daily commuter through the Ballygunge Circular Road area. "Hope other parts of the city soon get the same relief," he added with a smile.

A compactor has the capacity to carry 70 cart-loads of waste - that is equivalent to the waste carried by four lorries, thus cutting the cost of fuel consumption.

This initiative looks promising to keep the city of Kolkata clean, and KMC has plans of extending the project to other parts of the city, with 15 more waste compacting stations being installed in the near future.

"We need to set up as many waste compacting stations as possible. We are in search of land for this purpose. Once land is found, we will place our proposal to the Centre to release funds under JNNURM," Debabrata Majumdar - the member, mayor-in-council overseeing the KMC solid waste management department said.

This initiative in Kolkata has been talked about in numerous forums, and has received a great response from all around the country. While most metros can only dream of a vat free environment, Kolkata is already stepping towards a greener future. Garbage dumps - not only a sore eye, but also a health hazard, are on their way to being a thing of the past in Kolkata.

Source: Team M3.tv

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