Nashik: Contradictions In Nashik Municipal Corporation's Solid Waste Management Strategy

Nashik: Contradictions In Nashik Municipal Corporation's Solid Waste Management Strategy

The purchase of mechanical brooms was initially presented as a cost-effective solution for road cleaning, intending to enhance efficiency and reduce manual labour dependence. After their deployment, the NMC extended the contracts of 700 sanitation workers from the Water Grace Company for an additional six months.

Prashant NikaleUpdated: Tuesday, March 12, 2024, 03:41 PM IST
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Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) | File Image

The Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) recently implemented a strategy to improve solid waste management in the city, involving the purchase of four mechanical brooms worth ₹35 crore. This investment aimed to streamline road cleaning operations and reduce overall expenses. However, the subsequent outcome of this initiative revealed unexpected challenges and contradictions in the municipality's approach to waste management.

The purchase of mechanical brooms was initially presented as a cost-effective solution for road cleaning, intending to enhance efficiency and reduce manual labour dependence. After their deployment, the NMC extended the contracts of 700 sanitation workers from the Water Grace Company for an additional six months.

Despite the investment, the decision to retain and expand the sanitation workforce led to increased expenses instead of anticipated savings. The General Assembly's approval of the Solid Waste Management Department's proposal indicates a significant shift in strategy, with the municipality expecting to spend over ₹110 crores annually on solid waste management, primarily due to continued employment of Water Grace cleaning staff. This unexpected rise in expenditure has attracted criticism, raising concerns about the effectiveness and financial prudence of the municipality's approach.

Since 2020, the NMC has outsourced 700 sanitation workers, bringing the total contracted workforce to 875. This outsourcing strategy intended to optimize operational efficiency. However, the decision to extend the Water Grace contract and hire additional workers highlights a growing dependency on contractors, questioning the municipality's ability to manage waste effectively while ensuring fiscal responsibility.

The municipality plans to outsource 175 sanitation workers for municipal facilities, including theatres, auditoriums, swimming pools, and schools. The projected costs of this initiative, totaling ₹170 crores over five years, raise concerns about long-term financial sustainability and potential over-reliance on contracted labour.

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