Kerala will pass a legislation next month in a bid to ensure stricter implementation of measures around waste management, Minister for Local Self-Governments and Excise M.B. Rajesh said today.
Noting that the government was making concerted efforts for a garbage-free Kerala features initiatives, he called for ways to overcome the slow pace in execution that can impede the Malinya Muktham Nava Keralam drive from achieving its aim by March next year. “Authorities should go much beyond merely buying kitchen bins and supplying them to households,” Rajesh said after inaugurating a zonal workshop for Urban Local Bodies, organised here by the Kerala Solid Waste Management Project (KSWMP). “We have the latest technologies available to collect and dispose solid waste. Urban Local bodies must make best use of them through exemplary leadership interventions.”
Addressing 300-odd delegates from the civic bodies across the northern districts of Kozhikode, Kannur, Wayanad and Kasaragod, the Minister emphasised the need to complete the first round of the drive this month. “Yet we aren’t through with measures guaranteeing source-level management of waste and its doorstep collection,” he noted at the workshop named ‘Maattam’. “Municipalities and corporations should go all-out to complete these steps”.
Rajesh said councillors have to ably settle possible resistance by local people against setting up of waste-treatment plants in their vicinity, he added.
Pointing out that KSWMP typically provides financial and human resource support for developing ULB-level solid waste management plants and comprehensive sustainable management solutions for bio and non-biodegradable wastes, the Minister said the facilities should be envisaged as eco-parks which also function like community centres friendly towards children and women. “We are providing sufficient working tools and wages to the Haritha Karma Sena members. Those failing in paying up the user fee are being slapped penalties along with the building tax,” he added. “Local bodies can use the money collected so”.
The Minister cited Sulthan Bathery, Kunnamkulam, Guruvayur, Vadakara, Perinthalmanna and Attingal as models of exemplary civic bodies. “We hope the whole of Kerala will emulate them.”
The workshop was addressed by Kozhikode Mayor Beena Philip, Kannur Mayor T.O. Mohanan, Additional Chief Secretary Sarada Muraleedharan, KSWMP Deputy Project Director U.V. Jose, Municipal Chairman’s Chambers Chairman M. Krishnadas and Urban Affairs Director Alex Varghese besides Harshan S. of the Suchitwa Mission.
The speakers and other delegates examined the shortcomings in solid waste management in the local bodies, seeking ways to improve public awareness on the matter.
‘Maattam’, which aims for a master-plan by urban local bodies to attain sustainability in waste management, will be followed by a meeting next month where officials will present the proposals before the Chief Minister. The first workshop under ‘Maattam’ was held at Kovalam in Thiruvananthapuram district on July 3, while the second at Thrissur concluded on July 22.