BHUBANESWAR: From failure in framing any strategy or policy for safe disposal of waste to non-collection of user fees from the generators, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has pointed out gross irregularities in Solid Waste Management (SWM) by state government and civic bodies in urban areas.
The CAG in its latest performance audit report on ‘Waste Management in Urban Areas’ underlined that the Odisha government did not initiate any strategy or policy to minimise, reuse or recycle waste till March 2021 leading to dumping of 90 per cent of the waste at landfill and dump sites without processing.
“The Solid Waste Management (SWM) Rules 2016, notified on April 8, 2016 stipulated that the state government should prepare a State Policy and strategy on SWM within one year of notification of the Rules. However, the Housing and Urban Development (H&UD) department didn’t notify a State Policy for integrated SWM till February 2022,” the CAG stated.
In Smart Cities, a total 2,956 tonne of solid waste per day and 35,057 tonne of plastic waste per annum was disposed without processing in the period of 2015-20.The audit further observed that the ULBs failed to provide 100 per cent basic facilities to households such as issuing bins for practising source segregation, collection of solid waste, sweeping of streets, lane, roads of wards of ULBs on daily basis and creation of public awareness.
On the other hand, the report stated that due to non-achievement of service-level benchmarks, the ULBs also failed to get Central assistance of Rs 333.58 crore under 14th Finance Commission norms. The revenue loss under the service-level benchmark was mainly due to low revenue generation, non-conduct of elections to the ULBs and non-preparation of annual accounts.
The audit observed that out of 21 test checked ULBs, only seven collected user fee for SWM during 2017-2021 period that too only Rs 70 lakh against Rs 161.41 crore resulting in revenue loss of Rs 160.71 crore.
It was mainly due to laxity in enforcement of the provisions for levy and collection of user fees, the CAG stated. It pointed out that the user fee was not even collected from the Indian Railways though the waste generated within the railway premises were being handed over to the municipalities.
“Due to low revenue collection, the gap between generation of own resources and revenue expenditure in solid waste management increased during 2015-20 period. The resource-expenditure gap increased from Rs 81.33 crore in 2015-16 to Rs 168.73 crore in 2019-20 in the test-checked ULBs,” the CAG stated.
Management goes waste
2,956 tonne of solid waste per day, 35,057 tonne of plastic waste per annum disposed without processing during 2015-20
ULBs failed to get Central assistance of Rs 333.58 crore
Out of 21 test checked ULBs, only seven collected user fee during 2017-2021, which was Rs 70 lakh against Rs 161.41 crore
Resource-expenditure gap increased from Rs 81.33 crore in 2015-16 to Rs 168.73 crore in 2019-20