Highlights Who are you going to call to clear that garbage blackspot in the neighbourhood? Perhaps Highlights Who are you going to call to clear that garbage blackspot in the neighbourhood? Perhaps you have already informed the authorities but the waste keeps accumulating by the day. In what could be a relief to many cases in point as the above, the municipal corporation has drafted a proposal to procure as many as 600 compressed natural gas (CNG)- powered auto-tippers for waste collection in the city. These vehicles, officials said, will be scrambled, to clear the garbage at the earliest, whenever citizens report blackspots in a neighbourhood. Some of these BBMP-owned vehicles will be given to the self-help groups engaged by the civic body for the door-to-door collection of dry waste. The remaining autotippers are to be used for clearing blackspots. “A sizable number of vehicles will be used for the collection of waste in a second shift. At present, the wet waste collectors make just one trip a day. Having a dedicated Mushrooming garbage blackspots mirror all that is awry with urban waste management today. For the BBMP, surely, not an issue a few hundred auto-tippers can’t fix 600 vehicles to help waste collection fleet of vehicles will ensure the blackspots are cleared. They can be used for the collection of bulk waste as well,” a senior BBMP official clarified. It is learnt the procurement proposal has been forwarded to the government for approval. The move comes barely a year after the Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) handed over 18 CNG-fitted Tata Ace vehicles to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). These ‘eco-friendly’ vehicles are currently used in some wards by the dry waste collectors who are trained by non-profit organisations such as Hasiru Dala and Swachch. “Once the government approves the proposal, we will float tenders for the 600 CNG vehicles. It’s an old proposal which was stuck for a long time due to a legal hurdle,” said Sarfaraz Khan, joint commissioner of the BBMP’s solid waste management division. It’s not clear how much the BBMP plans to spend on procuring the aforementioned vehicles. A probable reason attributed to the purchase of the vehicles utilising BBMP funds is the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2020, which prescribes ownership of a certain fleet of waste collection vehicles to mitigate crises. A sizable number of vehicles will be used for the collection of waste in a second shift. At present, the wet waste collectors make just one trip a day. Having a dedicated fleet will ensure blackspots are cleared. — BBMP official Some have questioned the BBMP’s move to purchase CNG-powered vehicles instead of the cost-effective electric vehicles. “We were given CNG vehicles for the collection of dry waste. GAIL, however, has only a few pumping stations nearby. This has become a problem. We found that CNG vehicles are more expensive in terms of maintenance. Even the cost of refilling is high. Hence, these vehicles are not the best solution. The BBMP should opt for electric vehicles,” Nalini Shekar, co-founder of Hasiru Dala, a non-profit helping the marginalised waste pickers in the city, said. In January this year, the BBMP signed a pact with GAIL to produce compressed biogas from 300 tonnes of organic waste supplied by the civic body on a daily basis. The plant, to be set up on an 18-acre land in north Bengaluru, is expected to be operational in two years.