Pune Municipal Commissioner approves five-year contract with SWaCH for door-to-door waste collection


The municipal commissioner has finally approved a five-year contract with SWaCH Pune Seva Sahakari Sanstha, a co-operative of volunteers who collect wet and dry waste from door to door in the city. For the past few years, some people’s representatives and the civic administration were reluctant to enter into a long-term contract with the organisation. Meanwhile, SWaCH representatives met the chief minister and put forth their demands in this regard. They also protested during the Nagpur winter session of the state legislature. Their struggle has finally fructified. SWaCH has been collecting segregated waste from door to door for many years now. In the city of a population of about six million, 4,300 SWaCH volunteers collect garbage from about 80 per cent of the households in the city. They mainly include men and women from weaker sections.

However, for the past three years, corporators were complaining about the organisation and tried to allocate the work to other organisations. Due to this, one-year extension was being given after the expiry of the previous contract with the organisation. SWaCH continued to work and protested against this. Its representatives met chief minister Eknath Shinde six months ago and apprised him of their work. Shinde had assured that an order would be issued to enter into a five-year contract with the PMC. But action was not taken as per his promise, SWaCH volunteers recently protested in Nagpur during the winter session of the assembly. Now, the municipal administration has decided to enter into a five-year contract with the institution.

Municipal commissioner Vikram Kumar has approved a five-year contract with SWaCH. The process in this regard will be completed soon. Along with this, it has been decided to increase the number of supervisors of the organisation from 110 to 184. The PMC used to pay Rs 5 crore annually for the salary of these volunteers. After the increase in the number of workers, the cost will increase up to Rs 8 crore. Additionally, five to six more organisations have submitted applications to the civic body for door-to-door waste collection. Sandeep Kadam, deputy municipal commissioner, solid waste department, said, “Efforts will be made to collect wet and dry waste from all households soon.



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