CHANDIGARH—JAN 17—Spare a though for those waste collectors who go about their business without protective gears. Rain or shine, fog or cold it does not make much of a difference while they do their job without protective gears.
Rapid urbanization demands for more informal collecting services. At first glance garbage collection may not seem extremely hazardous but research shows that it can in fact be both dangerous and even deadly. It is estimated that the per capita waste generation varies from 0.2 to 0.6 kg per day in cities. In case of Chandigarh per capita waste generation rate is 0.4 kg per day or 326 TPD. It is also warned that by 2021, city will have no place for storage of garbage.
Long term inhailing of waste stench can cause various diseases that could have been prevented by the use of protection tools. “It is difficult to breathe properly with the stench that is emitted from the waste,” said a waste collector segregating waste at a Sehaj Safai Kendra in Sector 9.
She added that more or less all her colleagues use bare hands to collect or segregate waste. Some time she felt sore in her throat and inflicted injuries in her hands. When she was asked why they did not have mouth masks, shoes or gloves, the mother of five who earned between Rs 2,000-3,000 told that they were unable to purchase these themselves.
Health experts agree that without proper protective gears they are at high risk for infection and diseases. Waste contaminated with numerous germs that may have long-term repercussions.
Waste management should not merely revolve around collection and segregation of waste. The need of the hour is to protect those who contribute a lot in maintaining the City Beautiful—a thought for the Municipal Corporation indeed.