Only 11 gram panchayats have landfill sites, holding up waste management

Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat has set aside Rs. 2 crore for taking up solid waste management projects in villages. But it is not able to use the fund because of lack of government land under gram panchayats to build landfill sites and bio-compost plants, said K. Koragappa Naik, president of the ZP.

Addressing presspersons here on Friday on the occasion of Mr. Naik completing one-year in office, the president said the district had 203 gram panchayats.

Of them, only 11 panchayats had landfill sites. Four more panchayats had gotten land meant for landfill sites registered in their names.

He said only 17 gram panchayats had bio-compost plants where compost was made through vermiculture method. Five more bio-compost plants were being built at Bellare, Uppinangady, Dharmasthala, Edapadavu, and Kemral.

Mr. Naik said the panchayat could use the fund reserved only for building landfill sites and bio-compost plants. It could not divert it to any other development project.

When his attention was drawn on plastic bags and other waste materials being dumped on the roadside under the jurisdiction of gram panchayats on the outskirts of the city, the president said that nobody was coming forward to spare their land to build either a landfill site or a bio-compost plant. Even though some gram panchayats had identified whatever government land available for building landfill sites, their move met with stiff resistance from local people.

Effective management of solid waste produced in gram panchayat levels, particularly, on the outskirts of the jurisdiction of urban local bodies was a challenge.

He said Laila Gram Panchayat in Belthangady taluk produced and marketed bio-compost produced from wet waste under the brand name Laila Gold from September 28, 2011. Local farmers purchased it at Rs. 8 per a kilogram.

He said of the 1,015 drinking water projects costing Rs. 45 crore taken up during 2012-13, work of 511 projects had been completed so far.

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