Monday, January 09, 2012

Corporation's waste management in disarray

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Heaps of garbage seen piled up by the wayside and the growing stray dog menace in the city point to shortfalls in the implementation of Capital City Clean City project of the Corporation.
The shortage of sufficient Kudumbasree Clean Well workers (for garbage collection) and poor coordination between Kudumbasree workers and Corporation sanitation staff are reportedly the reasons for the poor performance of the project.

The lackadaisical attitude of many city residents towards source-level segregation of garbage and non-payment of the nominal fee to the Clean Well workers are also major reasons.
The Corporation had recently slapped a fine of Rs.250 on some Clean Well units after unattended garbage heaps were found in their areas.

“The garbage bags for which I was fined were thrown by residents who had not paid the fee for garbage collection. We do not collect garbage if the fee is not paid. They then resort to throwing garbage on the road. This is unfair,” a Clean Well worker from the Vanchiyoor area said.
“It is sad that people refuse to pay Rs.40 a month to these workers. Their job only gets more unpleasant when residents refuse to segregate garbage at the source level. That is why nobody comes forward to do this job. White and green buckets had been provided for garbage segregation and these are being used for other purposes by many households,” Deputy Mayor G. Happykumar said.
As of now, plastic wastes and biodegradable wastes collected by the Clean Well workers are taken to Vilappilsala. Although the Corporation had mooted many schemes for decentralisation of solid waste treatment, none of these projects took off.
Corporation Health standing committee chairperson S. Pushpalatha said the pilot project for ward- and house-level treatment plants would be launched soon. The shredding machines procured by the Corporation for treating plastic wastes had not been utilised yet.
“The plastic wastes are being land filled at Vilappilsala now. This can be stop if the shredding machines start functioning. We will place shredding machines at Vilappilsala, Manacaud, and Peroorkada,” Ms. Pushpalatha said. Work on the leachate treatment plants at Vilappilsala would be completed in two months, she said.
With no system in place, waste management in the newly annexed wards of the Corporation was in a bad state, sources said. Sreekaryam councillor B. Vijayakumar said nothing had been done even after nine months of the new Council taking charge.
“People here have made some arrangements through residents associations and Kudumbasree units to collect garbage. This is but possible only at places where residents' associations are active. It is high time that the Corporation woke up to the situation and addressed this issue,” he said.
The foreign tourist asked me – ” Do you know where they keep the wastebin”? I looked around, just to show him that i took his question seriously. But i knew that there are no wastebins around. Even if there is a waste bin, very few would use it and that very few, would soon find those wastebins full and overflowing. That foreigner was holding a paper cup in his hand and he could see the other cups thrown around him. But still the civic sense in him was active, eventhough he was in foreign country. Will we ever rise up to this civic sense to keep our city clean. Did we ever kept our city clean? My father says that trivandrum was one of the cleanest cities in India. But that was when the king was ruling?? Do we need the iron hand of a king to keep our city clean? Or cant we enjoy the freedom democracy offers to keep the city clean.

Workers of the kudumbasree toils in the dirt and slime to ensure cleanliness and still the callous minds clandestinely throw the waste on the road and in the vaccant plot owned by another. Do they ever realise that they are the victims of their thoughtless and selfish action. Every waste packet thrown out on the street, every carcass of slaughtered animals thrown to the thiruvallam and karamana rivers, every spittle which falls on the road, make a cesspool in our mind. So keeping the city clean may keep our body and mind clean. Let us dont wait to be clean humans till we go abroad…Let us keep our city clean first.

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