Minister for Excise and Ports K. Babu has warned that many achievements of the State will be undone unless a solution to the issue of garbage treatment is found on a war footing.
He said that setbacks especially in health, tourism, and export sectors would be far-reaching. He was inaugurating the Sanitation Fest 2012 organised jointly by the district panchayat and the District Sanitation Mission.
He said that the protest at Vilappilsala reflected the people’s lack of confidence in proper treatment of waste. Similar situations prevail in many other parts of the State. Mr. Babu said that it was high time that the local bodies showed some urgency in tackling the issue. The State government gives equal prominence to garbage disposal along with development.
He said that there were many local bodies which failed to utilise Rs. 25,000 made available for pre-monsoon sanitation. The Minister said that concerted efforts on the part of administrators and people at all levels alone would free the State from the scourge of garbage. He said that much improvement has been made in creating civic sense among the people in countering this issue.
The State faces the challenge of zeroing in on the best possible model for garbage treatment. Efforts are being made under the leadership of the Chief Minister to find a solution to the issue.
Mr. Babu said that the State’s first ultra modern waste treatment plant would come up at Brahmapuram shortly. Similar plants will be set up in Kozhikode, Thrissur, and Thiruvananthapuram. The government is on the lookout for ways to generate fertilizer and gas from waste.
Apart from centralised and decentralised treatment of waste at the source of generation, the government is also considering more stringent rules in this regard. People should be alert to those dumping waste at public places. The government has proposed severe punishment for such offenders.
The Minister hoped that coastal areas would become clean with the implementation of the Suchithwatheeram project by the fisheries department. Subsidy worth Rs.20,000 will be given for building toilets under the project.
District panchayat president Eldhose Kunnappillil presided over the function. Benny Behanan, MLA, inaugurated the exhibition of waste treatment systems. District Collector P.I. Sheikh Pareed explained the district-level programmes as part of the complete sanitation mission. Thrikkakara municipal chairman P.I. Mohammadali and district panchayat vice-president Bindu George were among those present.