Performance audit of Urban Local Bodies

We have, on umpteen occasions, voiced our concern in respect of a messy policy being followed in respect of management of solid waste generated in cities, towns and rural areas. We have been also suggesting that Housing and Urban Development Department needed a total revamping which, if needed, the dead wood found after proper scrutiny, needed to be weeded out in order to make that sensitive department work in tune with the expectations of the people from it. Could anyone in authority from that department clarify the reasons of non implementation of National Green Tribunal’s clear order on performance audit of the Municipal Corporations and Urban Local Bodies on management of solid waste as also sanitation? Entire period of one year has perhaps been found insufficient for complying with the order. The deadlines are usually not met and compliance position is also not monitored on monthly and quarterly basis. The result is that Solid Waste Management Rules of 2016 continue to remain in doldrums.
We, in Jammu have yet to see most of the provisions of Solid Waste Management being implemented both in totality as well as in specific areas. For example, segregation of waste at selected collection points, collection and transportation vehicles to be fitted with Geographical Positioning System (GPS), sweeping of public and commercial areas and locations twice a day, scientific landfills, penalty provisions for violators and prevention of solid waste from entering water bodies etc. Not only any breach in the guidelines was amounting to total violation of the orders of the statutory body like the National Green Tribunal but it was wreaking havoc with the environment resulting in deterioration of public health.
The performance audit in fact leaves nothing absolutely untouched, whether it be door to door collection of segregated solid waste from households, transportation in vehicles that are covered and not scatter any material en-route to the disposing points, segregation into biodegradable and non biodegradable material, hazardous material etc., installation of twin bins in public and commercial areas and the like. This all was to be looked after, so far as implementation and complying with was concerned, by the Housing and Urban Development Department which had to rope in the Municipal Corporations in cities and towns and Urban Local Bodies in semi urban and urban areas. Not only the order of the Tribunal but a Government order followed thereafter for its early and full implementation. However, as on date, the position remains as it is. Authorities were identified and designated by the Government for both Kashmir as well as Jammu regions for conducting of performance audits of the MCs and ULBs. However, due to utter casual approach by the concerned authorities of the Housing and Urban Development Department, the directives issued by the National Green Tribunal last year in the month of January continue to be not implemented. If regular monitoring at highest levels in the administration would have taken place simultaneously, the position would have vastly improved. Since the issue is directly related to sanitation, public health and the environment, we urge the authorities to pay their preferred attention to the issue concerned and have performance audit order strictly implemented at an early date and arrange to ensure its regularity by periodically monitoring the developments.