Chattogram, Rajshahi cities set example in garbage collection

Abul Kalam Muhammad Azad . Rajshahi and Sujon Ghosh . Chattogram | Update:

Cleaners of Chattogram City Corporation collect garbage from a residence in Chattogram on Wednesday. Photo: Sowrav DasChattogram and Rajshahi city corporations engage their own cleaners to collect garbage from homes of city dwellers.

The city corporations pay the cleaners and the charge for waste collection is included in the holding tax of city residents.

There is no business over the management of garbage in these two city corporations.

This garbage collection system has been called 'door to door'.

All the 41 wards of Chattogram except Dakkhin Pahartoli are under this programme.

In Rajshahi, 80 per cent holdings are under this programme.

"This is a privilege for the city dwellers. No business can be done over garbage collection," Shafiqul Mannan Siddiqui, chief garbage management officer of Chattogram City Corporation told Prothom Alo.

"Earlier, garbage was found scattered. The scenario has been changed since 2017 when the programme was launched," said Suparna Islam, a resident of Shulakbahar ward in Chattogram

The open dustbins are no longer seen and the odour has vanished too, the resident added.

According to the Chattogram City Corporation, some 913,000 dustbins have been distributed among 1.4 million families of the city. The city corporation has bought 752 vans for the task from its own funds and grants.

Some 1,976 workers have been recruited to collect the garbage daily while each of them is paid Tk 360 per day. The total cost amounts to Tk 260 million.

"Every morning, I keep the trash on the ground floor. The cleaners take away those in the afternoon and I don't have to pay for this," Chandana Chowdhury, a resident at Jamalkhan Momin Road said.

Rashidul Hassan, general secretary of Bangladesh Planners Association (BIP), said it's a good method and stressed cooperation of the city dwellers for its success.

Several areas have not been brought yet under the project where private organisations or residential associations carry out the task.

The remaining areas will also be brought under the ‘door to door’ programme in six months, said Shoibal Das, president of the standing committee of city corporation garbage management.

Rajshahi City Corporation initiated the direct garbage collection system in 1997. Only Tk 20 was charged on each household for the van drivers' payment. The charge is not taken by a separate fee but is included in the holding tax.

The areas that are not under the direct system are managed by associations. According to councilor Shariful Islam, who is the president of the city corporation garbage management committee, there are 7-10 vans for each ward out of 30 and 400 van drivers collect the garbage every day. They are paid by the city corporation.

Jainal Abedin, a local of Sagporpara, Rajshai said, “We don't have to pay separately for the garbage management as the city corporation authorities do regularly.”

*This report, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Nusrat Nowrin.

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