They complained that the corporation had failed to implement waste segregation and was trying to introduce composting using machines that were not eco-friendly.
A review meeting organised by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation on June 18 at the community centre in Sector 23, Dwarka, with representatives of RWAs and social organisations turned chaotic over promotion of composting machines during the meeting.
Environmentalists, representatives of Federation of Cooperative Group Housing Societies (CGHS), Dwarka, and members of various RWAs rejected the idea of composting using machines and urged SDMC officials to promote natural composting.
Ramesh Mumukshu, an environment activist and a member of Rise Foundation, said, “It’s strange that the SDMC is only promoting composting machine without ensuring that the system in place is effective. They completely failed to implement waste segregation and now they want to introduce machines that require energy and are not environment-friendly. Firstly, they should make sure that their whole system runs effectively for at least three months to win residents’ confidence.”
“Today’s meeting was unfortunate and meaningless. It was held for promotion of machines and not natural ways to manage waste,” he added.
The meeting became chaotic during presentations on composting machines by various companies. Members of RWAs and the federation were not convinced on various issues and were seen expressing their displeasure. The absence of higher officials from SDMC, who had called the review meeting, also added fuel to the fire.
SS Mann, vice-president of Sukh Dukh Ke Sathi (SDKS) and a resident of Sadbhavna Apartments, Sector 11, said, “They were very mismanaged today which irritated all of us. On one hand, their circular was not sent out properly in the sub city, while on the other, the deputy commissioner who had called the meeting was absent. This meeting ended with no result and wastage of time.”
The various social organisations, RWAs and Federation of CGHS asked the corporation to focus on improving waste management and waste segregation. They also suggested promoting segregation by raising awareness and promoting natural composting in parks and societies instead of machines. They gave their suggestions in writing to SDMC.
V Selvarajan, secretary of Federation of CGHS and a resident of Diamond Square Apartments, Sector 6, said, “Today’s meeting on waste segregation was a mockery of the system. The hidden agenda of the consultant of Swachh Bharat Mission [who also addressed the gathering] was exposed within minutes of commencement of the meeting. We do not require any consultant for things happening right under our nose. He seemed hell-bent on promoting makers of composting machines instead of dealing with the single-point agenda. Who gave him the authority to deliberate and waste our time?”
“Why is the SDMC not coming up with specific guidelines and plan of action mandated under Section 15a and 15e of Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016. People have a right to know SDMC’s role. None of the written queries to the SDMC was answered. Moreover, neither the DC nor the mayor was present,” he added.
When City Spidey spoke to Anil Kumar, executive engineer, SDMC, he said that more meetings would be held in the coming months. He also said that he had informed those at the meeting that the distribution of dustbins to each family in Dwarka, which was to be done by June 5, somehow got delayed and that he had asked RWA members to collect the bins from the SDMC office.
Some of the residents present during the meeting were Arvind Rudra, an environment expert and a resident of Harmony Apartments, Sector 4, and members of Federation of CGHS such as IM Khanna. AK Parashar, a resident of Sri Agrasen Apartment, Sector 7, Rakesh Godara, president of Om Apartments RWA, Sector 14, AS Chatwal, vice-president of Dwarka Forum, and RK Jain, a resident of Sector 10, also attended the meeting.