Well, Madras became Chennai and the mission was to make it “Singara” Chennai, something comparable to Singapore. I am not sure whether that mission is still in place and we would be alive to see that day, but I am sure, as of today, we can call it as “Stinkara” Chennai. The seven or so years of contract wtih CES Onyx, the Singapore based Waste Management company expired on 25th August and ever since Chennai streets were full of garbage. Garbage piled up in most part of the city and it was definitely stinking for the whole of past one week. Add to that, the intermittent rains worsened the condition. And the reason given by the Mayor is that the next contractor; Neel Metals; was not fully equipped to handle the situation.
Such a statement from the Mayor just means that whether it is a foreign contract or a work done by the local body, the government engine does not work. Their job is to just sign the contract and go home with all the crores of commission and relax. I think we need to get in to such a stinking situation to appreciate the kind of work Onyx had done all these years. They were just too professional for these guys I believe. When the contract got over on 25th of August, Onyx had cleaned up the garbage of that day also. Meaning next day it was a clean city for the Neels. Is it not the duty of the corporation to see if the transition from one contractor to the other has happened or not? And whether the next guy can pitch in and handle some 1600T of garbage daily?
Garbage collection is not something new to have such kind of fallback. Since day one government is cleaning streets and handling the waste management. If you can call the garbage collection, segregation, disposal as an industry by itself, then it is definitely not an immature one. When we take any work, be it a bank, some PSU job or an IT, whenever some one is relieved of the work, a proper transition phase would be planned where the next guy comes and works in parallel and gets trained on the job. Why is this not done in garbage collection? There are 3 zones in the city that Onyx handled. The corporation should have given a zone for Neels to take care while Onyx oversee the operation and give feedback. Onyx should have handled the other two zones so that there is not much of a backlog in the garbage clearance.
Apart from the commission that goes to the politicians, I do not see a necessity to outsource the garbage handling to some foreign company. Can’t the corporation import all these compactors and bins and handle the garbage by itself? This is not some rocket science we are dealing with. Some simple processes which when followed effectively would do the trick. And the main problem with all these contract switching glitch is lack of something which no one can teach; its common sense.