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BMC may quit Swachh survey over ‘garbage cess’

MUMBAI: After ranking as the ‘Cleanest State Capital’ in Swachh Survekshan 2018, BMC’s participation in this year’s national cleanliness survey is in jeopardy.
BMC wrote to the Centre last week, announcing it's going to need to withdraw from the contest as a result of it is unwilling to fee a consumer rate for garbage disposal from voters.

The civic body applied for a three-star ranking, as reported by NewsTread on December 10, 2018 (‘BMC rates itself 3 out of 7 on cleanliness and sanitation’), for the 2019 survey. While importing supporting paperwork, it was observed that the city’s application fails because it does not collect consumer charges, thought to be a criterion for the three-star ranking.

Civic commissioner Ajoy Mehta has pointed out that it collects a rate from business establishments underneath the municipal company law. The BMC has a surplus funds. No major town turns out to have imposed the cost but.

Section 54 of the Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2016, defines “consumer rate” as a fee imposed by the local body on a waste generator to cover full or section value of providing door-to-door cast waste assortment, transportation, processing and disposal products and services. A civic reputable said this rate might be anything else which the civic body deems have compatibility to cover the costs for providing waste control facilities.

Municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta, in his letter to the secretary of the Union ministry of housing and urban affairs that is coordinating the Swachh survey, has argued that the parameters for evaluating towns within the Swachh Bharat Mission is most commonly in keeping with cleanliness, and not on restoration of consumer charges. “In view of the above, if consumer charges/taxation is thought of as for ranking, the Swachh Survekshan ranking might be primarily based merely on consumer charges somewhat than cleanliness. In that case, basic purpose of the survey might be defeated. So if the declare of three-star is not thought to be, it'll be an injustice to Mumbai town and we have no option but to withdraw our participation from Swachh Survekshan 2019,” he said.

Explaining why Mumbai is not gathering consumer charges, Mehta said it's the company’s duty to provide products and services in opposition to scavenging, transportation and disposal of waste according to section 61(c) of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation (MMC) Act, 1888. “The company has to provide SWM (cast waste control) products and services to all categories of voters. For providing those products and services, the company is empowered to get better Trade Refuse Charges (TRC) underneath section 368(5) of the MMC Act, 1888, from business establishments, and the same is done,” his letter said. In FY 2017-18, Rs 62.8 crore and in FY 2018-19, Rs 38.2 crore have been accrued as consumer rate underneath section 368.

BMC has requested the ministry to rethink Mumbai’s application for evaluation for three-star ranking for garbage-free status, claiming it has met all the other parameters, together with door-to-door garbage assortment, waste segregation, and cleanliness of water bodies.

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