The decentralized municipal solid waste management of the Vellore Municipal Corporation received an honorable mention for the best municipality at the Janaagraha City Governance Awards on Tuesday.
The event is held in memory of V. Ramachandran, a former civil servant, who was known as the “father of democratic decentralization”. The awards were presented by Housing and Urban Affairs Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri.
The segregation strategies deployed by the Municipal Company of Vellore have enabled the monetization of dry waste, the product of which has had an economic impact on sanitation workers, farmers and businesses.
“The Vellore Municipal Corporation is a city without bins and we don’t have a compost yard. All the waste collected in the city is sorted and treated. We achieved this through continuous IEC [Information, education and communication] activities like emphasizing the message in religious places, markets, etc. and reaching out to households, ”said N. Sankaran, Commissioner, Vellore Municipal Corporation.
He said they first made staff and health workers understand the need for segregation and treatment by introducing 51 decentralized micro-composting centers in Vellore, which could handle 165 cubic meters of waste.
“Biodegradable waste is treated without accumulation or discharge. Every day, the waste generated is treated and eliminated. Once the need for segregation arose and its benefits were realized, the whole process became easy. It has helped us keep our city clean, ”Sankaran added.
During the event, Mr. Puri said it was clear that only a partnership between citizens, different municipalities, states and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs could bring about transformative urban change in the country. “We have seen such a partnership in action, on a large scale, in hundreds of cities, in projects like the Swachh Bharat mission. In the next phase of urban development, we need to invest in building the capacity of municipalities as institutions of local self-government. In the framework of Aatmanirbhar Bharat, the emphasis is on strengthening the revenues of municipalities through reforms of property tax and user fees, ”he added.