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Modern bins installed at Vazhakkai Mandi in Tiruchi.

Modern bins installed at Vazhakkai Mandi in Tiruchi.
| Photo Credit: FILE PHOTO

A cross-section of residents in the city has expressed concern over the delay in commissioning the modern bins installed at ‘Vazhakkai Mandi’, the wholesale banana market adjacent to Gandhi Market in Tiruchi.

In a bid to curb littering in public places, the civic body, in November 2022, installed around 40 semi-underground garbage bins at garbage-vulnerable points in the city in the first phase. Of these, eight modern bins were placed outside the banana market.

The Vazhakkai Mandi, which spreads over two acres, generates around 15 tonne of waste per day, which increases during special occasions.

Though the modern bins were placed eight months ago, the bins are not being utilised, and the vendors are forced to dump the huge waste generated by the market on the road. “Indiscriminate dumping of waste adds to the shrinking of motorable space, and road users are facing a tough time navigating the road,” said R. Subramanian, a resident of Srirangam.

The modern bin project was commissioned to install around 175 bins across the city and procure five specialised waste collection vehicles for ₹14 crore under the Smart City Mission.

Made of galvanised steel, the waterproof bins with sensors alert the workers to collect the waste once filled. Over 40% of their structure is beneath the surface level, and the lids remain closed to prevent stray cattle from rummaging through the garbage. “Since the bins are heavy, they can be unloaded only using crane-mounted trucks, which will lift the bins from the surface to empty them,” said a senior Corporation official.

According to the officials, the non-availability of specialised vehicles has led to failure of the project, and the already installed modern bins remain idle. “Two crane-mounted waste collection vehicles have been purchased, and the registration process is underway. If the initiative yields the desired outcome, we will consider expanding the plan to other garbage-accumulation points in the city,” the official added.

In 2019, the city became bin-free after the civic body removed over 1,100 bins and introduced door-to-door garbage collection. However, waste generated in markets and temples were not collected regularly by the conservancy workers, which received flak from the residents.

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