- 10 waste treatment plants to be revived in Thiruvananthapuram
- Despite improvement in waste segregation, disposal remains a concern
- Contractors will keep some of the profits generated by from biogas sales
New Delhi: After slight improvement in its Swachh Survekshan 2018 rankings 327 in 2017 to 289 now, Thiruvananthapuram has taken steps to revamp its waste management. In this direction 10 waste to biogas plants in the city, that had been inactive for the last few years are set to revive. The move, initiated by the Municipal Corporation of Thiruvananthapuram comes nearly a month after the complete list of India’s cleanest cities was released by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, which the improvement in city’s Swachh ranking largely to the improvement in waste management mechanisms. The city’s civic body is reviving the waste treatment plants to ensure that more waste can be treated simultaneously, for a cleaner Thiruvananthapuram.
The capital city of Kerala generates about 24 tonnes of solid waste daily but processes less than 50 per cent of the waste generated, due to lack of waste management plants in the city’s vicinity. A total of 10 waste management plants, with capacity to process five to seven tons of waste and turn them into biogas have been shut down. Lack of maintenance of these plants was the reason why they were shut down, as private contractors pulled out of maintenance duties. The Thiruvananthapuram civic body has found new contractors willing to take responsibility of the plants. The municipality will charge Rs 1.84 lakh per plant annually from the contractors as maintenance fee.
Our rankings improved this year because we focused on waste segregation and the segregation percentage has improved from 15 per cent to 25 per cent this year. But a lot of waste was dumped in open spaces and waste transporters said that they did not know where to take the waste. With the reopening of 10 biogas plants, the waste can be safely disposed of, said Hari Kumar, Additional Secretary, Thiruvananthapuram Municipal Corporation.
The civic body plans to spend Rs 25 to 30 lakh in revamping the 10 dormant waste treatment plants, as many of their machines have stopped functioning from being idle for years. The civic body has also formulated a better plan this time, to ensure that the waste management plants do not become inactive. Biogas manufactured in the waste management plants will be sold to organisations, and the contractor in charge of the waste management plant will keep a portion of the profits generated from the sales. The civic body decided this course of action after multiple complaints from previous contractors about difficulty in maintaining the plants in functioning condition.
“Earlier, the municipal corporation kept a major chunk of the profits from the sale of biogas manufactured in the plants. Now, the contractor and the civic body will divide the profits, so that the contractor can maintain the plant without any financial hiccups,” said Mr Hari Kumar.
Maintenance of waste management plants or sewage treatment plants has been an issue plaguing urban civic bodies. The complex economics of waste management has resulted in the closure of many of these plants and waste of crores invested in setting these up plants. Now Thiruvananthapuram hopes to change that.
While granting a new lease of life to the dysfunctionalwaste treatment plants the contractors have been made a stakeholder in the entire waste to biogas process to ensure the upkeep and the smooth running of these plants.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.