Two days back, City Spidey had reported that from the financial year starting April 2018, residents of Delhi will have to pay a user fee for waste disposal. This user fee has been recommended by the Delhi State Legal Service Authority (DSLA), which had been tasked with framing a fresh set of guidelines for solid waste management.
DSLA recommends the imposition of a user fee on all waste generating units, which include households, cooperative group housing societies, small shops, eateries, fruit and vegetable vendors, and dwelling units in unauthorised colonies.
So what will the user fee be?
“The user fee is likely to range between Rs 100 and Rs 150 per household. However, we shall be in a position to fix the amount only after the Delhi High Court finishes reviewing the report created by DSLA on solid waste management rules,” said a senior official of East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC).
Incidentally, Municipal Corporations of Delhi (MCD) has also been authorised to levy a fine up to Rs 5,000 on the waste generating units that do not comply with the recommendations of the solid waste management report.
Residents of housing societies across East Delhi are already paying money to garbage collectors or agencies for waste collection from their doorstep. For instance, residents in East End Apartments and United India Apartments in Mayur Vihar Phase I Extension are paying Rs 60 and Rs 70 respectively.
On the other hand, residents of housing societies in Dwarka and South Delhi are paying waste disposal fees to managing committees of their respective societies, along with monthly maintenance charges.
The situation in the rest of Delhi is not very different. Therefore, it is more than likely that the cooperative group housing societies and residents welfare associations of established colonies will oppose the proposed user fee for waste disposal.
Subhash Srivastava, a resident of East End Apartments, said, “In our society, every household is paying Rs 60 per month directly to the agent who provides waste collectors. This is in addition to the maintenance charges, which we pay to the managing committee. An additional sum by way of user fee will not go down well with the residents.”
Purusottam Bhatt, president of United India Apartments, said, “Imposition of a user fee is an arbitrary decision. Why should we pay Rs 100 or Rs 150 if we are getting the same service for Rs 70? Also, we want to know if this user fee will ensure better cleanliness outside our society premises.”
People also suspect that civic bodies such as EDMC and NDMC, which are already facing a financial crunch, will leverage the user fee to earn some extra cash. However, if residents resist the user free, their hopes are likely to be dashed.