The state Municipal Affairs department has decided to provide stationary and mobile compactors in all the 125 urban local bodies throughout West Bengal. The decision was taken following the instruction of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. It may be mentioned that Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has replaced the open vats with compactors under its Clean City project.
All the eight urban local bodies of West Midnapore district, namely, Jhargram, Kharar, Khirpai, Ramjibanpur, Chandrakona, Ghatal, Midnapore and Kharagpur have already been provided with mobile compactors.
A total of 22 stationary compactors with hook loader and 186 mobile compactors have been procured by the department. Already 150 compactors have been commissioned and the rest would be made functional by end July.
A senior official of Municipal Affairs department said compactors had helped to manage solid waste effectively. Earlier, the open vats used to emit foul smell and residents staying near them had often complained of breathing congestion and burning sensation in the eyes. This problem has been ironed out after introduction of compactors. But the biggest problem is that it has become difficult to open a new trenching ground to offload garbage. For example, in Kolkata, Dhapa dumping ground which was set up by the British, remains to be the only place to off load garbage. Because of shortage of space, no second dumping ground could be set up. Similarly, in the districts, getting a place to set up a dumping ground has become a major problem.