Focus on infrastructure to manage waste

Even as a red alert is on against dengue across the State, a Rs.39-crore proposal, prepared by the District Suchitwa Mission, seeking infrastructure to manage solid and liquid waste here is awaiting the green signal at the Central level since the past few months.

The funds have to be released by the Union Ministry of Rural Development as part of the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan or Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC), a programme rolled out in 1999-2000.

The project lists urgent requirement for toilets in anganwadis and individual households, besides laying emphasis on hygienic sanitary complexes in public spots within the district.

The proposal submitted by the mission also highlights the lack of women-friendly restrooms in public areas within the district. It has also sought the funds for building girl-friendly toilets, complete with napkin incinerators, in public schools.

“We have highlighted the need for solid and liquid waste management plants in the district. Mechanisms to treat plastic and organic waste are also the need of the hour. However, waste management in slaughterhouses has not been included in this project because there is a real issue about lack of space which has to be dealt with first,” P. Raveendran, District Suchitwa Mission Co-ordinator, said on Wednesday.

Kozhikode district was given ‘Nirmal’ status in 2007 for running a successful campaign against open defecation. “The district was given Rs.9 crore to combat open defecation, of which we spent Rs.5.93 crore for the campaign,” Mr. Raveendran said.

“When Kozhikode was declared a Nirmal district, the district panchayat was awarded Rs.50 lakh, each of the 75 grama panchayats got Rs.5 lakh and the 12 block panchayats here were given Rs.20 lakh in recognition of the successful campaign against open defecation,” he said.

Second phase

The Rs.39-crore project is the second phase of the sanitary campaign in the district, the focus this time on building proper infrastructure to manage liquid and solid waste.

The proposal was forwarded to the State Suchitwa Mission three months ago. The state body has to forward it to the Union Ministry for final approval.

The proposal’s delay is despite the fact that the city is reeling under the stench emanating from Njeliyanparamaba waste processing plant, the only one in the city for treating solid waste.

The plant had failed to process the expected amount of waste, which led to the piling up of garbage and it eventually became a health hazard for the residents in the area.

The situation will only worsen with the onset of the monsoon, with the outlet for ‘treated water’ at the plant draining out thick, black-coloured effluents.

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