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Clean Sweep – Varanasi Will Soon Have an Automated Waste Collection System


India’s holy city is a tourist spot, but is also infamous for its filth that pollutes the lanes and water bodies. The government has now taken it upon themselves to clear up the mess and bring back the holiness in Varanasi.

The Varanasi Nagar Nigam (VNN) has tied up with the Airports Authority India (AAI) to introduce an automated waste collection system, according to Mint. On Wednesday, March 30, the two government bodies signed the agreement that could revolutionise waste management in the city.

In its pilot phase, the automated waste collection drive will be launched in 14 wards of the city, for three years.

The wards selected are those on the ghats of the river Ganga, with a staggering population of about 1.1 lakh people.

River Ganga
Source: Wikimedia Commons

With financial backing from AAI as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility programme, the project will be technically supported by the urban development ministry.

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Joint secretary Praveen Prakash of the urban development ministry announced the tie-up and plans to extend the project to other cities besides Varanasi. He said to The Daily Pioneer, “The holy city is popular amongst tourists and has a lot of footfall, making it even more difficult yet important for VNN to maintain hygiene and cleanliness.”

The daily waste generated by the city runs up to 650 metric tonnes. An inefficient solid waste management system along with overpopulation and lack of access to sanitation facilities had placed Varanasi at the 65th spot in 2015, out of the 73 cities surveyed by Swachh Survekshan, courtesy the urban development ministry. It fell from its 59th spot in 2014.

While the mechanised system includes sweeping and clearing trash from roads physically, the automated waste collection system will include door-to-door waste collection and transport to waste plants. Here, the waste will be segregated and processed according to its type.

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