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Sanitation drive yet to succeed

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Kerala Bureau

Garbage piles and clogged drainages still a fact of life in urban centres

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The pre-monsoon sanitation drive to check the spread of mosquito-borne diseases is yet to achieve its desired objective in the State, although the southwest monsoon has got into its stride.

Reports from various centres in the State say that garbage piles and clogged drainages were still a fact of life in most urban centres. With the commencement of the monsoon, mosquitoes have started proliferating and the buzz of diseases such as dengue and chikungunya is in the air.

Diseases

Chikungunya has been reported this season from certain parts of Kozhikode and Kannur districts, while dengue fever is doing its round in the Kanjirappally area of Kottayam district.

Leptospirosis, a water-borne disease, has been reported from the districts of Thiruvananthapuram, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam and Alappuzha. Stray cases of Malaria have been reported from several regions in the State.

Cholera has reappeared in the Kuttanad region of Alappuzha district. The outbreak of this water-borne disease coinciding with the coming of the monsoon has become almost predictable in this region.

The World Environment Day observance on Friday saw the local bodies, in association with Kudumbasree self-help units and voluntary organisations and student groups, undertaking sanitation efforts all over the State. The day’s drive covered market places, school compounds, hospital premises and other public places.

The Kochi Corporation was, on Thursday, criticised by the Kerala High Court for its failures on the sanitation front. The court asked for a report from the corporation on the steps taken for waste management in the city. The situation in Kochi is no different from that in the State capital or any other major urban centres such as Thrissur and Kozhikode.

Waste generation

According to the government’s estimate, the urban centres in the State generate between 2,800 tonnes and 3,000 tonnes of waste every day.

Only 50 per cent of this garbage is collected for disposal, the remaining portion being left to decompose by the side of roads and in drains, canals and open spaces.

The total quantity of biomedical waste generated in the State is about 80,000 tonnes a year, according to the government’s estimate, published in the latest edition of the Economic Review.

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