Kerala is all set to turn a new leaf in urban garbage clean-up operations with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan launching the Rs 2,400-crore Kerala Solid Waste Management Project (KSWMP) on Sunday, amid the second phase of ‘Malinya Muktham Navakeralam’ campaign which is bolstering the infrastructure to achieve the target in the current financial year.
Minister for Local Self Government and Excise M.B. Rajesh will preside over function at Hotel Grand Hyatt here, where Minister for Law and Industries P Rajeeve will unveil a new design for material collection facilities (MCFs) and resource recovery facilities (RRFs), developed by architect G. Shankar. Leader of Opposition V.D. Satheesan will launch a new Grievance Redressal Mechanism developed by KSWMP.
Reeling out the details of the ambitious project being carried out by KSWMP in association with the World Bank and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Shri M.B. Rajesh told a press conference here today that 93 urban local bodies (ULBs) across the state will come out with their blueprints on sustainable solid waste management for the next 25 years. As many as 31 ULBs have already prepared the document, where they must carry out sub-projects of big initiatives.
The project supports ULBs in establishing centralized treatment facilities in addition to encouraging and streamlining the decentralized systems. State-of-the-art waste management facilities such as bio-methanation plants that enable generation of bio-CNG from waste and windrow compost plants will be established, besides integrated facilities under the brand name ‘Bio-Parks’ wherever possible.
The current financial year will see the state’s 87 municipalities and six corporations launching sub-projects worth Rs 300 crores, which is one-fourth of the total grant they are to get to strengthen infrastructure for solid-waste management. “The projects will be world class and are slated to be completed in a year,” Rajesh told a press conference today.
The first phase of KSWMP drew encouraging response, with the percentage of doorstep garbage collection rising from 48 to 78. As an array of war rooms carries out this task at the district and state levels, 1,034 local self-governing bodies have been allotted Rs 2,290 crores for the 2023-24 fiscal. The break-up of the results goes thus: 422 carry out source-origin waste at 90-100 per cent, 298 (75%-90%), 236 (50%-75%) and 78 (below 50%).
The public reported 5,965 cases of illegitimate garbage heaps across the state since the roll-out of KSWMP, leading authorities to clear 95 per cent of them, the Minister revealed. Penalties collected by the squad fetched the authorities a total of Rs 1.60 crores. Besides, Rs 25 lakh came through fines based on image-based tip-offs from informers, who are being paid 25 per cent of the penalty as consolation. The total number of reported garbage-vulnerable points was 5,965, of which 5,473 (91%) have been cleared. Already 364,259 organic compost units have been distributed to carry out source-origin disposal of waste.
The project envisages to transform MCFs and RRFs from waste collection centres to a community spaces with all facilities and conducive work environment — to be re-branded as ‘Green Parks’. This will support the ULBs to develop a comprehensive waste transportation system and, within a year, help them establish double-chambered sanitary-napkin incinerators approved by the Pollution Control Board.
As the State does not have scientific landfills to dispose inert waste which cannot be reused or processed, the project will support in establishing world-class scientific landfills at the cluster level. All ULBs will have collection and temporary storage space as part of C&D (construction and demolition) waste management. The project will also support the establishment of a Green Industrial Park that enables creation of large-scale local employment generation and will boost the circular economy. KWSMP will undertake the bio-remediation of all solid waste dumpsites in the ULBs
As Haritha Karma Sena has become the backbone of solid-waste management, KSWMP will ensure their safe work environment including basic amenities such as toilets and changing rooms, protective equipment, vehicles for collection and machinery for segregation. The project has already deployed 350 qualified and experienced professionals in SWM sector to assist ULBs to prepare SWM plans, conceive technically sound sub-projects, prepare DPRs (detailed project reports), ensure social and environmental safeguards and for executing the projects.
A Command-and-Control system will be established at the ULB, district and state levels to ensure efficient management of all streams of wastes, while a dedicated complaint redressal system has been developed. Also, a dedicated complaint redressal system has been developed In order to address the public grievances such as littering in public places, shortcomings in waste collection and processing systems.