BENGALURU: Despite assurances from the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to pay Dry Waste Collection Centre (Dry Waste Collection Centre) operators their dues, several remain unpaid for months on end, despite a recent protest by them. “I have not been paid in eight months, they keep saying they will clear our dues. I run two centres in HBR Layout and Nagawara wards with my money, and have to pay `43, 685 for auto tippers, labour and diesel per month. I have to pay my rent and support my family too,” says Nagaraj.
“East zone wards, including Nagawara, HBR Layout, Shanti Nagar and Domlur, are the worst hit. We have reached out to everyone, from the BBMP Commissioner to the chief accounts officer to press for release of payments,” says Nalini Shekar, co-founder, Hasiru Dala.Data collected by Nalini and her team show that east zone is the worst hit with pending payments amounting to Rs 37,56,910. The west zone’s outstanding amount is higher, Nalini clarifies that east zone workers have not been paid for longer.
As many as 33 DWCC operators have not been paid. This has put an end to door-to-door collection in some places. When contacted, Mahadev, chief accounts officer, BBMP, says, “There is no funding issue. Whenever the zonal officer send requests for release of funds, BBMP releases it. If it is not being paid in some zones, it means there is some problem with that zone in particular. ”
Devaki NK, deputy controller of finance, east zone, says, “For wards 88 (Jeevanbhimanagar) and 112 (Domlur), the bills have been cleared up to June and May, respectively. The issue is, the files go through so many people and get held up in the bureaucratic processes. From the ward assistant executive engineer, the file goes to the superintendent engineer of solid waste management, and then reaches the joint commissioner. It usually takes a lot of time at the joint commissioner’s office. Someone needs to follow up constantly.”