April 16, 2019.
Visit to Sangareddy Municipal Corporation
Everybody from the Kandi Panchayat advised me to go to Sangareddy given my questions and interest in understanding the governance and infrastructure of household waste management.
The staff from the Green Office was kind enough to accompany me and she was also the one who helped me with translation. We went in with the intention of meeting the commissioner, but he wasn’t around. The staff member advised us to meet the sanitation officer. And so we met Vijay Babu.
It was an interesting meeting. As soon as we said waste, the word acted like a trigger and Vijay Babu just poured his heart out. He began by telling us how a fight had broken out at Hanuman Gadda (just that morning) between the staff who was disposing waste and the villagers. He explained that Sangareddy had had no official dumpyard for two years and he was having a really tough time. He mentioned that for the past two years Sangareddy’s waste was being dumped here and there, given that there wasn’t a designated space that had been sanctioned to them. On a daily basis, the drivers of the trash vehicles had to face backlash from the surrounding villages were the waste was being dumped. Most commonly the waste was being dumped at Hanuman Gadda, a village on Sangareddy Narsapur road which was government land. The staff had found ready pits on this land because someone had stolen the soil.
In terms of other infrastructure, the municipality had 17 trucks and 29 autos that collected all the trash from the surrounds of Sangareddy. There were around 180 sanitation workers and 27 of those were regular government employees, the rest of them were working on contracts.
This officer also told us that three kids had died having fallen into the pits at Hanuman Gadda.
The Sangareddy municipality had paid 27 lakhs two years ago to the revenue department and had requested for a land/site that could be used as a dump site, but none of the space propositions had panned out. The two options one in the village of Cheriyal and the other in Malkhapur had not worked out as the villages protested against the big town waste being dumped in their vicinities.
Towards the end, he mentioned that he had been deputed here and not gone home for a long time, he was from Nalgonda and had to stay put at Sangareddy as he was covering up, no one was ready to come to these faraway places like Sangareddy and he is, in reality, a health assistant, but has to act as the sanitation officer given that there is no one there serving in that capacity.
In conversation with Vijay Babu, Municipal Office, Sangareddy.