Date: April 16, 2019
Visit to Kandi Panchayat
The Kandi Panchayat office is located 4kms away from the IIT campus. In terms of governance, IIT Hyderabad geographically falls within the purview of Kandi panchayat. Kandi has a population of 8000.
Kandi is also a mandal (I am unsure about whether this translates to ward in English, but I am sure that another word for it is also Tehshil), this mandal includes a number of villages.
The elected Sarpanch, a lady, Vimala whom we met was elected to the office in January 2019.
Vimala arrived with her husband who sat close to her on the side of the table.
All the information that I gathered was thanks to the help of a staff member at the IITH Green Office who came along and agreed to help with the translation.
We were hoping to gather information about the waste management infrastructure in the village.
Our initial questions about the disposal of waste were met with a request to recruit villagers of Kandi as housekeeping staff in IIT Hyderabad by the Sarpanch’s husband.
Our explanation of the academic nature of our request and our helplessness with regards to the recruitment of any kind of staff at IIT Hyd led to a loss of his interest in us and he soon left. Before leaving he did mention that he has requested for street lights from the institute till the village on the highway and his request was not fulfilled.
After her husband left, the Sarpanch seemed more amenable towards answering our questions and told us that according to her knowledge, the waste was being collected in tempos/autos and dumped on the dumpsite* which is government-owned land. She had no knowledge of any literature or rule book or policies regarding waste management that had to be followed.
So there were no mandates as such. She also highlighted that she has been in office only for a few months and wasn’t completely clued in on things yet. She also underlined that the village would be interested in doing something together with IIT Hyderabad for Swacch Bharat Campaign.
The waste collection one could surmise is not governed or managed by a local body per se, and there seems to be no money allocated to its management, people who collected the garbage were paid individually by the households who paid the collectors (not salaried or on contract – more service providers) RS. 50/- per month from their own pockets. Whether the collection vehicles were privately owned or owned by the government was something we couldn’t clarify. There was no segregation of waste. Everything went to this dumpsite which was 5 to 8 kms away from the village behind an Urdu Boys Residential School.
In conversation with Vimala, Sarpanch Kandi Village.
Brahmeshwari Mallala helped with the real-time translation from Telugu to English/ Hindi