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Garbage collection bid thru' STS falters for users' apathy
The move taken by the capital's two city corporations to set up garbage sheds -- secondary transfer stations (STS) -- in different areas for effective waste disposal falters due to difficulties in land acquisition and apathy of the city dwellers.
The situation is the worst in the case of Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) as it has been able to set up only one STS so far.
Spot visits by the UNB correspondents showed that the construction of 13 more is underway in the south part of the DSCC though it planned to build 57 garbage shed, one for each ward.
But, the Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) has planned to build at least two or three sheds in each of its 36 wards. Of that, it has already installed 39, while construction works on nine more are going on.
City corporation officials claimed that the desired number of STSs, which are expected to streamline the waste management to a large extent, could not be set up as city dwellers are unwilling to have garbage stations fearing bad odour.
But, both the city dwellers and cleaners have welcomed the move in those areas where the garbage collection sheds are already in place, recognising improvement in waste management.
During the spot visits, quite different scenarios were found in the places where the STSs have been built and where are yet to be installed.
A few months back, the half of the street near Kalyanpur Bus Stand used to remain occupied with household wastes, but the situation near the bus stand is now totally different as a STS has been installed there.
"After the construction of the STS, we're discharging our duties with much comfort. Earlier, we had to collect wastes from the streets which was very risky due to vehicular movement," Kamal Hossain, a cleaning staff, told UNB.
Shawkat Hossain, a businessman who lives in Kalyanpur, said, "There's no bad odour in the bus stand area any more as wastes are being dropped at the secondary transfer station."
But the case is different at Ring Road in Shyamoli area. Household wastes are dumped through vans occupying half of the streets. Those cross the area either on foot or vehicle are seen covering their noses with handkerchiefs.
DNCC officials said they are constructing a STS at 21/A Ring Road for Ward 29 to drop primary wastes there.
Contacted, DSCC's chief waste management officer MK Bakhtiar said it is a very complicated job to build STS in the city corporation for lack of space. The city corporation is facing various problems even to build those on its own lands."
There is an acute shortage of suitable land for building transfer stations. If the corporation can manage a land then it faces protest from locals as they are worried about possible odour, the official added.
He said, "Dhaka University authorities had allocated a piece of land to build a transfer station. But they obstructed us when we took steps to start its construction. Later, we had a meeting with the university authorities. Now, they've agreed to give a land in another place for it."
DNCC chief waste management officer Abdur Razzak said the corporation failed to build any STS in five wards for lack of land.
"We're now in discussion with different stakeholders to take lands on lease to build the transfer stations," he added.