Initially households in six wards will pay ₹30 to ₹120 per month, can go up to ₹15,000 for hotels
The Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) will soon begin collecting ‘user charges’ from households and commercial establishments for doorstep collection of garbage from July as per the provisions of the Solid Waste Management Rules 2016 issued by the Central government.
The civic body decided to collect ₹30 per household per month in slum areas and ₹120 in non-slum areas. For shops and commercial establishments, it will be between ₹200 and ₹15,000 per month depending on the type of establishment and the amount of garbage generated.
The proposal has been approved by the municipal council.
Collection of user charges on garbage has been made a precondition for the release of funds from the Centrally-sponsored schemes like Swachh Barath Mission and AMRUT.
The civic body planned to begin collection in September 2020 at ₹50 per household but postponed it following a backlash from the public.
To start with, the VMC will collect the user charges in six wards – 4, 10, 27, 36, 39 and 42 – which were selected for a special sanitation drive.
“The user charges will be used only to improve sanitation in the city and the fund will be maintained in a separate account,” Municipal Commissioner V. Prasanna Venkatesh said in an interaction with reporters.
“We aim to improve sanitation in the city to an extent where people feel it is reasonable to pay the user charge for the service rendered. People can make payment via digital payment services or in cash and a hard and soft copy of the receipt will be given upon collection of the amount,” Mr. Venkatesh said.
The app (PayU) and e-Pos machines for the collection of the charges were being tested, and in a matter of days collection would begin in the six wards, he said.
Households and establishments would have to pay a late fee of ₹15 and ₹100 respectively if the payment was made after the 7th of every month. “We are not going to impose late fee now as creating awareness is more important at this stage, Later, we will also accept quarterly payments,” Mr. Venkatesh said.
“Currently, we are focussed on improving sanitation in the six wards and desilting of drains and other works are under way,” he said.
Bins for households
To ensure segregation of garbage at source, the civic body will distribute three bins to each of the 2.7 lakh households in the city. The distribution of blue, green and red bins for dry, wet and hazardous waste respectively began in the 42nd ward on Saturday.
For function halls and five star hotels the user charge is ₹15,000 and for three-star hotels and hospitals with over 40 beds it is ₹10,000. Fast food centres, bakeries, sweet shops, wholesalers, meat shops and offices will be charged below ₹500.