Express press service
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The inaction of the municipality has plunged the capital into a deep waste crisis, with the accumulation of rubbish in public spaces and private vacant lots becoming rampant, causing enormous inconvenience to the public. Since the new DFL-led council took office, very little has been done on the ground to improve or strengthen the decentralized waste management system, the project initiated by the previous councils.
With the waste crisis worsening, the state government has tasked the Haritha Kerala Mission to intervene effectively to resolve the crisis in the capital, exposing the inability of the current management of Thiruvananthapuram Corporation. Recently, Vice President of Haritha Kerala Mission TN Seema chaired a meeting to reconstitute the technical committee under the project secretariat – a unit under the health wing of the society.
We learn that only nearly 10,000 of the 50,000 kitchen trash cans installed in households are functional. The civic body has installed about 441 aerobic bins at 62 locations in different parts of the company area for the scientific treatment of household waste. Unfortunately, many of them are obsolete due to lack of maintenance. The state capital generates an average of 353 tons of waste every day.
Recently, Haritha Kerala Mission stepped in and took steps to train Haritha Karma Sena in all hundred wards for effective source waste management and door to door collection of non-biodegradable waste.
However, the recent announcement to reintroduce door-to-door waste collection by the civic body has dealt a major blow to the existing waste management system. We learn that the civic body had already deployed Haritha Karma Sena in 54 districts of the capital.
“After this announcement, some residents stopped using the kitchen bins. Around 3,000 households use kitchen bins in the Manacaud health circle. After learning about curbside waste collection, many of them do not want to deal with waste at source,” a staff member from the waste management service provider told Health Circle. of Manacaud.
A health wing official said the civic body plans to procure an additional 25,000 kitchen bins to bolster source management of waste. “Due to payment issues, the supplier we met with refused to supply more kitchen bins. Therefore, we have issued a tender for the purchase of 25,000 kitchen bins,” said the responsible.
Garbage thrown everywhere
The majority of installed aerobics units are obsolete due to lack of timely maintenance and poor management. The Karamana health circle which covers the residential areas of Attukal, Arannoor and Nedumcaud is facing the worst waste crisis.
“There are piles of garbage everywhere and the premises next to my house are filled with tons of garbage. As a councillor, I have been raising this issue for six months. To date, no action has been taken to resolve this issue. It is a residential area and any waste dumped here becomes a public hazard,” said Nedumcaud Ward Councilor Karmana Ajith, a resident of Arannoor Ward.
Following repeated complaints, the company’s secretary had issued a notice to the health authorities to dispose of the waste accumulated before February 14. According to the health authorities, the aerobic bin units in the Karamana health circle are obsolete. “The base was not solid and part of the installation collapsed because of this. We have made proposals to maintain and renovate these old aerobic tanks. The engineer wing must execute this work now,” an official said. The official said the lack of land to install more aerobic bins is a major challenge for the company.
“All of these facilities are damaged because the bins are insufficient to handle the huge tons of waste generated in each health circle. We decided to renovate and reinforce them with more facilities to store dry waste,” the official said.
Residents call for better waste management
“Over the past two years, the waste crisis has worsened in our residential area. Waste management is one of the main responsibilities of the company and it should do a better job. Absolute chaos reigns in residential neighborhoods for lack of effective waste management. Aerobic bins are obsolete,” said SS Pillai, Chairman of Durga Nagar Residents Association. He said garbage dumps in vacant lots are becoming dangerous for local residents.
“There was a fire at a rubbish dump on private land recently and firefighters came to put out the fire. There are other vacant plots where dumping is rampant. Even the health authorities and councilors are helpless” , said Pillai.
A health wing official said the company plans to procure an additional 25,000 kitchen bins to strengthen waste management at source. However, due to payment issues, the supplier refused to provide more bins, an official said.