Thrikkakara municipality is far from finding a permanent solution to garbage management as it continues with its archaic and unscientific method of dumping waste in pits dug up in an open space and spreading earth over it.

A naturally-formed trench sandwiched between the offices of the municipality and the district panchayat and surrounded by residential areas has been serving as the dumping yard of the municipality for long. Residents complain that the practice has already taken its toll on ground water sources and wells in the region.

Life is often miserable for people living near it as there had been instances in which stinking waste packaged in plastic covers get deposited in their properties during heavy rain. This had happened after an underground grill separating the dumping yard with a culvert collapsed in the heavy rains.

Thrikkakara municipal chairman P. I. Mohammadali, however, said that precautions had been taken to prevent a repeat of such incidents.

Former Ombudsman for Local Self-government Bodies M.R. Hariharan Nair had pulled up the panchayat more than once over the issue. He had asked the then panchayat authorities to shift the waste dumping to an alternative location.

Even a monitoring committee, chaired by the then District Collector M. Beena was formed at the instance of the Ombudsman to deal with the waste problem.

However, things have hardly improved since then. Initially, the municipality had taken refuge in the option to dump the waste at the solid waste treatment plant of the Corporation at Brahmapuram. That proved a non-starter as the plant ran into trouble under the weight of its own faulty design and unscientific handling.

The proposal to shift the waste dumping to 56 cents owned by the municipality at Vanachira also had to be dropped in the face of opposition from local people. Now the municipality is pinning its hope on adopting a decentralized method of treating waste at the point of origin itself.

“We will distribute 5,000 bio-pots at 50 per cent subsidy in a month. Plans are also afoot to distribute biogas plants,” Mr. Mohammadali said.

The municipality is now waiting for the government order permitting it to grant subsidy up to 75 per cent for setting up biogas plants. Earlier, the municipality could not afford to provide more than Rs. 2,000 irrespective of the cost involved, he said.

“We have also sought a proposal from Biotech for setting up a centralized biogas plant with the capacity to treat 10,000 kg of waste,” Mr. Mohammadali said.

The plastic shredding unit of the municipality is also set to begin functioning with electricity connection likely to be received in a couple of days, he said.

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