When States like Tamil Nadu come up with projects to generate power from poultry waste, the local self government institutions in the district are yet to consider setting up adequate facility to treat poultry waste.
Even though the source-level treatment facility for chicken stalls is mandatory while seeking trade licences, the rule is hardly followed by the owners who claim they will not be able to get land for the purpose.
As a result, the possibility of source-level reduction remains on paper and the merchants find their own ways to treat the leftovers.
Fish farm owners
Interestingly, chicken traders do not resort to dumping the waste in river and other locations, and seek the help of fish farm owners instead.
To dispose of the waste, a chicken stall owner pays Rs.3 per kg to the fish farm owners.
But this temporary adjustment can come to a stop at anytime, as it purely depends on the requirement of the farm.
The fish farm owners usually take a very small quantity of the total waste.
Thus the treatment of additional waste comes as a big task for the traders especially during the festive seasons.
“As a solution to the issue, we submitted several proposals to the government to construct a common plant for traders at a particular location for which the traders too will contribute. It evoked no response from the officials,” says P.K. Kunhon, State president of Chicken Merchants Association.
In the absence of proper land in city limits and the limited income from the sector, the small traders will not be able to construct treatment plants of their own, and forcing them to do so will never succeed in the current situation, he argues.
The association leader points out that the initiative taken by the local self government institutions in setting up biogas plants with government subsidy has brought some relief to the traders in the sector, as a portion of the waste directly goes into such plants.
Bio gas plants
However, the capacity of those plants is minimal and they will not be able to take large quantities, he adds.
In support of the decentralised waste treatment initiatives like the biogas plant, officials attached to the Health section of the Corporation say the dumping of poultry waste in public places has largely come down after the introduction of biogas plants.
The policy-level decisions on setting up joint treatment plants should come from the government and the local bodies will surely cooperate with the plans, they say.