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City waste management must improve

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WASTE management in Dhaka city is falling apart due to lack of serious efforts of the two City Corporations to improve the system although they have the people and equipment and also had remarkable success only two years ago. As one of the most populated mega cities in the world, Dhaka produces more than 4,700 tonnes of waste every day around 8,000 poorly handled by trained cleaners. We can't say the two city corporations are not having enough fund but ill-trained cleaners doing the job manually at local level is making the job tough.

At most places garbage cleaners run their job through mid-day and the open garbage cart and the stint cause serious problem to city dwellers at many places. Most city wards and districts have cleaners assigned by city corporations and supported by locally engaged helpers, but the bins and garbage containers are placed unprotected and poorly maintained. Many dump garbage in open air and these are also often publicly carried. The city must have much more improved system to keep the environment clean.      

Two mayors of the bifurcated city had earlier said they would make the city clean and green before next election but eventually the promises is going going empty. We want to say the mayors should be firmly committed to deliver and make the city livable by properly managing the waste and free from dust. It is very difficult to move in the city as the city streets are found filled with waste paper, plastic bottles and dirt. The air is filled with dunes and dust. It is not a livable city at all.

It is strange the two City Corporations have fired over 200 cleaners recently which has in turn brought setback to cleaning and waste management system. The trash cans set up two years ago along the footpaths have already become useless and many were stolen or broken. The City Corporations have no plan to repair or replace the trash cans but lost several hundreds crore taka in the project that only benefitted contractors and concerned officials.

The High Court recently ordered to complete the cleaning of the city garbage before dawn but it is yet to be fully implemented. City garbage now being dumped at Matuail in the outskirt of the town but it is not a permanent solution. It can't accommodate waste after few years. So they should find a sustainable way of handling the waste along with improving the cleaning system.

We know that modern cities are producing electricity by recycling the waste and this is how we can solve the challenge where to dump the waste in our case along with reducing power shortage. In our view both corporations should be more innovative to handle city garbage and make the best out of it.

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