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Waste collection by GMC: A dead loss!

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  23 March 2017 12:00 AM GMT

*User charges to be collected was Rs 8.07 crore
*Engaged NGOs collected only Rs 1.21 crore
*Loss of revenue to the GMC was Rs 6.86 crore
*GMC paid service charge and commission to the NGOs on Rs 6.62 crore even as the NGOs failed to collect that amount
By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, March 22: The Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) is absolutely a dead loss at collecting user charges against collection of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) from households and commercial holdings in the city.
The report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India on local bodies for the year ended on March 31, 2016 has made such a remark against the performance of GMC in collection of user charges from households in the city against collection of MSW. The GMC suffered a loss of revenue amounting to Rs 6.86 crore due to not collecting user charges against collection of MSW from the households whereas service charge and commission on Rs 6.62 crore was paid to the NGOs, the CAG report said, and added that similar loss of revenue was found in case of collection of MSW from commercial holdings as well.
Clause 16 of the Bye Laws, 2000 relating to collection, removal and disposal of MSW and efficient cleaning and scavenging of streets, drains and premises under Guwahati Municipal Corporation Act, 1971 states that door–to–door collection of MSW shall be made by the corporation on full–cost–recovery basis. The rates fixed by the GMC for door–to–door collection of MSW, according to the CAG report, are Rs 30 per month for households and Rs 30 to Rs 8,000 per month for commercial holdings.
In May 2014, the GMC invited tender for selection of NGOs for door–to–door collection of MSW from each household and its transportation to secondary collection point under the Solid Waste Magement Programme. According to the CAG report, based on the rates offered by the NGOs, the GMC engaged 31 NGOs for as many wards under GMC area. “As per Clause 2.2(dd) and 4.1(c) of the agreement between GMC and the NGOs, user charges were to be collected and deposited into GMC’s bank account by the NGOs concerned against which 20 per cent (on user charges collected and deposited in GMC’s account) was to be paid to the NGOs as commission. Clause 4.1(a) also envisaged that the NGOs will submit the bills for service charge as per the accepted rate for each month against the number of households covered which had to be duly certified by the chairperson and member secretary of ward committee for payment,” the CAG report said.
However, the test check (March–April 2016) of records of GMC and the engineering division of the GMC revealed that, during July 2014 to March 2015, the NGOs engaged in 31 wards had collected user charges of Rs 1.21 crore only, against due collection of Rs 8.07 crore for households, the CAG report said.
Scrutiny of bills and vouchers submitted by the NGOs, according to the CAG report, revealed –
(1)Even though collection of MSW should be on full–cost–recovery basis, in case of 14 wards, the GMC had to bear extra cost.
(2)The full amount, as claimed by NGOs, was paid without verifying the actual number of households covered, including a case where it was certified by the zol engineer that all the households were not covered by the NGO.
(3)The NGO engaged in Ward No. 9 was using its own receipt book for collection of user charges instead of GMC receipt books.
(4)In case of NGOs using GMC receipts, the amounts collected were higher than the amounts deposited in GMC’s account.
(5)Sample collected from Ward No. 15 and 19 during a joint physical verification also revealed that, though GMC receipts were issued, the amounts collected from commercial establishments were much higher than the amounts actually deposited in GMC’s account.
Thus, payment to the NGOs regardless of actual collection and deposit of user charges led to the loss of revenue to the GMC to the tune of Rs 6.86 crore, as only Rs 1.21 crore was collected against due collection of Rs 8.07 crore, the CAG report said, and added that the service charge and commission on user charges of Rs 6.62 crore was paid to the NGOs.

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