The district panchayat will, on Wednesday, launch a comprehensive project with the objective of making Pathanamthitta waste-free.
At a press conference here on Tuesday, Babu George, panchayat president, said the project, called Zero-Waste Pathanamthitta, would be implemented in association with the 54 grama panchayats, eight block panchayats, and three municipalities in the district.
Minister for Panchayats and Social Welfare M.K. Muneer will inaugurate the project at a function at the Valayanattu auditorium in Ranni on Friday.
Health Minister Adoor Prakash, Rural Development Minister K.C. Joseph, and MPs and MLAs from the district will speak.
Mr. George said the panchayat had chalked out an action plan to complete the first phase of the project in three months. A budgetary allocation of Rs.16 crore had been made for it.
He said the project envisaged setting up of micro-plants, each capable of treating waste and generating biogas, in various panchayat and municipal wards, besides providing bins to every household in the district to store plastic refuse and biodegradable waste separately. Plastic shredders and recycling units and organic fertilizer units had been planned at the level of the block panchayats.
Mr. George said a general council, an implementation council, a monitoring committee, and a task force had been constituted for the project.
Its implementation would be subjected to a social audit to ensure transparency and public participation.
He said 1,500 people, including local-body members and district-level officials, would attend the inaugural function. A seminar and awareness programme would follow.
The fund for buying waste bins to be distributed to the households in the nine grama panchayats in the Ranni block panchayat limits would be handed over to the block panchayat authorities on the occasion.
Mr. George said 1.68-lakh workers from 8,124 Kudumbasree units in the district would be the backbone of the project.
He said the local self-government institutions could even initiate steps to close down business and commercial establishments that did not comply with waste-management guidelines and rules.
P. Vijayamma, district panchayat vice-president, and Saji Chacko, M.G. Kannan, Ambika Mohan, and Mariyamma Cherian, members, attended the press meeting.