Agency awaiting direction on proposal to entrust it with ward-level project

The Kudumbasree Mission is awaiting government direction on a proposal to entrust it with ward-level waste treatment in the district.

A proposal to this effect was discussed at a meeting with the Chief Minister held last month.

Kudumbasree officials in the district said though such a proposal was discussed at the meeting, they were yet to hear about it being taken forward.

Sources in Kudumbasree said the agency, with its organised workforce, was equipped to take up such a responsibility. The mission has about four lakh members in the district and will, therefore, be able to cover all wards. Kudumbasree is already engaged by several civic bodies for the collection of plastic and biodegradable waste.

“We will be able to take up the job of waste treatment if we are given training in suitable technology, a common space for decentralised waste treatment, infrastructure for segregated waste collection and proper marketing mechanism for fertilizers generated from treated waste,” a Kudumbasree official told The Hindu.

However municipal chairpersons were divided on the proposal to entrust Kudumbasree with the task of waste treatment.

M.T. Jacob, Aluva municipal chairman, was doubtful about the capability of Kudumbasree to undertake waste treatment. The municipality has engaged Kudumbasree in collecting plastic waste on selected days in a week. “While they have the capacity to collect waste, it is doubtful whether they will be able to undertake the job of waste treatment,” he said.

C.K. Varghese, Angamaly municipal chairman, echoed similar opinion, asking how Kudumbasree would manage to treat and dispose of the waste. “Kudumbasree could at best be engaged to collect waste or to create awareness of the need for proper waste management. Kudumbasree members have been enlisted for such an awareness campaign in the wards of Angamaly municipality,” Mr. Varghese said.

P.I. Mohammadali, chairman of Thrikkakara municipality, where Kudumbasree members have been engaged along with the municipal contingent workers for collection of both degradable and biodegradable waste, also expressed similar opinion.

Maradu municipal chairman T.K. Devarajan, however, was in favour of entrusting the agency with waste treatment. The municipality has already engaged Kudumbasree workers for collecting plastic waste from all 33 divisions. “We have deployed 11 groups of Kudumbasree members to cover three divisions each and have given each group a three-wheeler for the collection of plastic waste. The possibility of expanding this system to biodegradable waste by making available the necessary arrangements for treating them can be explored,” he said.

Tripunithura municipal chairman R. Venugopal said Kudumbasree was best placed to do effective groundwork for waste management.

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