Calling for active intervention of social organisations and commercial establishments in the waste-free campaign, Minister for Local Self Government and Excise M B Rajesh today urged them to come up with specific business models for waste management by collaborating with Local Self Government Institutions (LSGIs).
The Minister was interacting with representatives and leaders of various organisations here today, held as part of a series of such conversations to ensure transparency and inclusiveness in the conduct of the second and third phases of ‘Malinya Muktham Nava Keralam’ campaign by Local Self Government Department (LSGD), here.
The participants representing a wide range of sectors and organisations including film industry, trading and women and youth outfits pledged their total support to the campaign by helping it achieve the set targets.
“Traders and entrepreneurs can lend a big support to the campaign by following Haritha (Green) protocol in their establishments. Also, to reduce waste, they must explore possibilities of production and popularisation of alternative products,” Rajesh said.
New ideas and business models are vital to avoid products that cause environmental and health hazards and encourage healthy and eco-friendly alternatives, a process in which entrepreneurs have a vital role to play, the Minister said.
Stressing the need for following green protocols in celebrations and making the ensuing Onam festival waste-free, he said the government may consider giving a reward to business establishments and organisations to promote healthy competition among them in waste management.
He said the second phase of the campaign, scheduled from July 1 to December 31, is critical and it gives emphasis on creating basic infrastructure facilities for waste management.
“The World Bank-aided Rs 2,400-crore project for solid waste management in city corporations will commence in August. Moreover, 1,034 LSGIs have earmarked a total of Rs 2,290 crore for waste management projects and July 31 has been set as the deadline for them to incorporate plans in their waste management projects,” the Minister informed.
Rajesh said each individual has a responsibility in the campaign, which also focuses on 100 percent segregation and disposal of biodegradable waste at the source itself, and 100 percent doorstep collection of non-biodegradable waste by Haritha Karma Sena.
Noting that apart from awareness campaign and participation, strong enforcement is important, the Minister said when the first phase of the campaign was completed, around 13,106 inspections were conducted and 4,486 violations were found. An amount of Rs 1,60,44,550 has been imposed on the violators.
He said the government is planning to bring in amendments to the law to strengthen the enforcement of waste management rules. Shri Rajesh also briefed the participants on the salient features of the campaign and also elicited their views on it.
Citing the importance of compliance of tasks assigned as part of the mission, Additional Chief Secretary, Local Self Government Department, Sarada Muraleedharan, said about 30 departments have been given instructions about their role in the campaign and its progress will be analyzed soon.
Suchitwa Mission Executive Director K.T Balabhaskaran; and Managing Director, Clean Kerala Company Limited, G K Sureshkumar were present.
Participating in the interaction, Suresh Kumar, who represented Kerala Film Chamber of Commerce, said his organisation can contribute to the waste-free campaign by creating short films and commercials, featuring film actors to spread the message.
Plastic Recycling Association representative Aneesh suggested that creation of by-products from recycling of plastics and decentralisation of waste disposal of plastics is important.
Kerala Taxi Drivers Organisation office-bearer Bahuleyan AP said his outfit will distribute pamphlets to passengers and forbid them from littering waste and bottles while travelling.
Representatives and leaders of private institutions, industries and commercial establishments, women and youth organisations, media, art, library council and science field attended the meeting spread over three sessions.
The meetings were planned to ensure greater public participation in the ongoing waste-free campaign by the LSGD. The third phase of the campaign will run till 2024 March 30, coinciding with International Day of Zero Waste.
The ‘Malinya Muktham Nava Keralam’ drive aims to make the state garbage-free by March next year.