Thursday, March 9, 2017


In this blog on the survey data series, Solid waste management and Sanitation of Ghole road ward residents are discussed. For the previous blogs, check here.

Solid waste management for Ghole road ward shows door to door collection and Ghanta Ghadi as the primary waste collection method.  Door to door collection of waste is above 60% in the higher income groups.  Households also  depend on Ghanta ghadi and street bins for waste disposal. Door to door collection is done by SWaCH. SWaCH is a successful model of  a cooperative of waste pickers, mostly women. It is operational in  Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad since 2008.  The city has a formal partnership with the cooperative and has authorized waste pickers to do door-to-door waste collection.  

In LIG and slums, the disposal is mostly through Ghanta Ghadi, where the vehicle comes near the neighborhood and residents dump the waste into the vehicle. Street bin disposal is also common in slums. One main reason for not having door to door coverage in slums is due to their inability to pay for the service.

One of the survey questions asked people whether they segregate the waste or not. The data shows that while awareness of segregation is high among the HIG and MIG households, relatively large number of people in LIG and SLUMS are not segregating their waste. It must however be noted that the data is based on respondent's answer to the question, and has not been actually verified. This is noteworthy because in most of the HIG and MIG households it is the house maids who handle the waste (who are themselves from LIG and SLUM households) and not the owners, who have responded to the survey. 

There is full coverage of toilets in HIG and MIG households. In the LIG category, 73% had a toilet in their house, 21% were dependent on community toilets or public toilets and 6% were doing open defecation. For slums, only 32% had a toilet in their house, 46% were using community / public toilets and 20% were doing open defecation. Open defecation is more prevalent in slums located on the Mutha river banks and the Vetal hills. It is a serious issue polluting our rivers, hills and deteriorating the environment. 

Under Swachh Bharat Mission, 32,000 toilets are built and more is planned. PMC is trying to tackle open defecation issue seriously and plans to make the city open defecation free within few years. 

However, it must also be noted that the sewage from Pune is flowing into the rivers, untreated. As long as the municipality is not able treat all the waste water before releasing it into the river, all the citizens are equally responsible for the pollution of the river, irrespective of whether they are using a toilet or not! While the Swachh Bharat Mission focuses on constructing toilets, more innovative strategies are required to ensure (a) proper use of the toilets, and (b) 100% waste water treatment at the city level.  

Your comments and suggestions are most welcome! 

Anu Kuncheria

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