Public sufferings and expenditures witnessed a considerable increase after Dhaka South City Corporation had leased out primary waste collection to private firms.
City residents said that the newly appointed contractors have announced that all residents would be asked to pay a certain amount against the task of waste collection.
Consumer rights activists said that with this additional payment made to the contractors, the city dwellers were now faced with a double taxation for the service.
According to the law, the autonomous agency is solely responsible for waste management of the south city, though in August, the agency leased out waste collection to private firms.
One firm was designated for each ward and with that an increase in the maximum charge for the service was introduced, ranging from Tk 30 to Tk 100, against each unit of house.
DSCC chief waste management officer Air Commodore Md Badrul Amin said that they already leased out 60 wards to 60 contractors against an average cost of Tk 12 lakh for providing van services to bring ‘discipline’ in the sector.
He said that they would appoint one contractor against each of its 75 wards soon and added that some 150 contactors applied to get the work.
City residents however said that the leaseholders already started extorting money by imposing additional charge and they feared that leasing the services would create anarchy in waste collection as the collectors would not be responsible to the residents, rather to the city corporation.
Mizanur Rahman, a resident in Jurain under DSCC’s ward no 53, said that leaseholders asked each household to pay Tk 100, whether the waste was collected or not.
Bashabo’s Natunpara area residents said that they used to give Tk 20 to waste collectors but it saw a dramatic hike to Tk 100 and, additionally, the trash collector announced that he would not come to the door.
They said that city would soon be filled litters for the recent move.
Primary waste collection by going door-to-door was introduced in Dhaka by community people as they had no option to be connected directly to the city corporation’s waste management network.
The sector remains thoroughly informal, where community people select some people to collect their wastes from home and transport them for final disposal through city corporation’s network.
City corporations in Rajshahi and Chattogram provide van services for residents and also pay the collectors using its own funds.
Bangladesh Institute of Planners general secretary and also Jahangirnagar University Urban Planning professor Adil Mohammed Khan said that city corporation couldn’t charge double for a particular service.
‘If city corporation leases it out to its selected companies, the authority should pay them, not the people,’ he pointed out.
Adil said that waste management was a service provided by the agency against the residents’ tax paid to the authority and shouldn’t be considered a form of business.
Ideally, the city corporation should create waste stations within the reach of the residents so that people could drop their wastes by themselves.
Kalabagan area house owner Abdur Razzak, a retired armed force officer, said that the leaseholders would not pay heed when the residents would object to make the extra payment as they were appointed by the city corporation.
Badrul Amin said that door-to-door waste collection was not city corporation’s responsibility, so to avail the service the residents would have to pay.
DSCC officials said that they have 5,391 cleaners to manage daily 2,500 tonnes of waste generated in the DSCC area.
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