While the Municipal Corporation of Dehradun (MCD) is talking about focusing on improving the sanitation facilities in the city to get better ranking in the upcoming Swachchh Survekshan, a site near the dry Rispana river in Adhoiwala has become a garbage collection center for several months. According to the locals, the sanitation workers collecting garbage from the nearby areas in their carts dump the garbage in the trash bins and when the bins seem full, they empty the carts in the open area. Observing the heap of garbage near the bins, the people passing by the site started to dump their garbage which stays there for days until the municipal workers collect the garbage from the site, informed locals. During the last few months, some ragpickers can be seen regularly near the site to take the garbage from the bins spread on the ground and collect the things in their bags that they find sellable. "Initially it was one or two bags but now the ragpickers fill four to five big bags regularly and sometimes they call some men who take the filled bags on bicycles. Sometimes it also causes traffic jam there," said a local resident Dharam Das.
Another local Durga Bhandari said, "They don't wear gloves or use masks while sifting through the garbage that probably has several used face masks. It can be dangerous during the Covid-19 pandemic." On asking why the people do not complain about the matter, locals said that they have approached the councillor but nothing has been done yet. Meanwhile, when this correspondent spoke with the ragpickers collecting garbage from the site, they informed that they live in the nearby slums and collect the sellable items from the garbage to earn some money. On being asked whether the municipal workers allow them to look into the pile of garbage, they said that workers have occasionally scolded them but they continue to do their work anyway as they are poor and this provides them some extra bucks. When this issue was brought to the notice of MCD officials, they stated that no sanitation worker can dump garbage in the open. The officials further said that the corporation will look into the matter and take appropriate actions.
It is pertinent to mention here that dumping of garbage in the open around bins placed by the MCD is a problem faced in various localities of the provisional state capital.