Plan will be implemented in Pathanamthitta for three years

Active people's participation and a close monitoring by local self-government institutions was the basic pre-requisite for a waste-free Kerala, said M.K. Muneer, Minister for Panchayats and Social Welfare.

The Minister was launching the ‘Zero-waste Pathanamthitta' project sponsored by the Pathanamthitta district panchayat at a function at Ranni on Friday.

According to him, indiscriminate production of materials, seldom required, has contributed in a big way to the problem of garbage. Relentless awareness campaigns against materials, including plastic, that adversely affect the environment was needed, he said.

Back to nature

Mr. Muneer said use of biodegradable materials like jute, paper, coconut shells, coir, etc. should be encouraged as a substitute for plastic in packaging industry. Local bodies should set up modern slaughter houses, biogas plants and popularise organic farming as part of its waste management drive, he said.

The Minister said that though a lot of research was being done in the field of scientific waste management, lack of will power in implementing projects was a major problem with the waste management system here.

The Minister said that the ‘zero-waste' scheme, to be implemented in the district for the next three years, should be a role model to the rest of the country.

District panchayat president Babu George presided over the function. The Minister has also handed over a cheque of Rs.39 lakh to the Ranni block panchayat authorities for implementing the scheme in grama panchayats coming under it.

Bins for households

Mr. George said the project envisaged setting up of micro-waste disposal-cum-biogas plants in panchayat and municipal wards, besides providing waste bins to every household in the district to collect plastic and biodegradable wastes separately.

He said installation of plastic shredders and recycling units and setting up of organic fertilizer units have also been planned in all block panchayats in the district. The district panchayat had already constituted a general council, implementation council, monitoring committee and task force to ensure hassle-free implementation of the project in a time-bound manner.

Raju Abraham, MLA, P. Venugopal, District Collector, P. Vijayamma, district panchayat vice-president, Ambika Mohan, M.G.Kannan, Mariyamma Cherian, Pazhakulam Madhu, members, and A. Sureshkumar, Pathanamthitta municipal chairman, spoke.

A seminar on waste management was held later.

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