Mettupalayam Municipality with 33 wards spread over 7.2 sq. km is all set to become a “clean town” with the assistance of Exnora under the National Urban Sanitation Plan.

Mettupalayam Municipal Chairman D. Sathishkumar told The Hindu that Exnora every year was choosing cities/towns across the country. For the current year, the plan was for selecting eight towns in Tamil Nadu and of which three were from the jurisdiction of the Regional Director of Municipal Administration – Tirupur Zone. The three chosen now are the Udhagamandalam, Mettupalayam and Bhavani municipalities.

Embarking on such an initiative will help Mettupalayam get an additional edge in getting more funds from the centre for excellent implementation of Exonra-aided cleanliness drive.

The same would also enhance the prospects of the municipality get better attention, especially in the wake of the sanitation policy of the State Government which is on the cards, Mr. Sathishkumar said.

Already, the Health Department of the Municipality led by Commissioner G. Elangovan has commenced preliminary works for implementing the cleanliness drive.

Implementation of the same with Exnora in Kulithalai in Karur district is one of the success stories, he said. A 15-member town sanitation executive committee with ‘who is who' of the town has already been constituted. Agency for carrying out the drive has been identified and it is Centre for Tribal and Rural Trust of Udhagamandalam.

At present, the Municipality is getting about 35 to 40 tonnes of waste every day and it is being disposed off at the 10-acre compost yard at Siraj Nagar on Sirumugai Road, about four km from the town.

The civic body with a sanctioned strength of 210 posts of conservancy workers was managing with just 150 of whom 19 deal with water supply works and only the rest take care of conservancy works. Of the 33 wards, door-to-door collection is being done in 22 wards and 11 wards are handled by private agencies.

Segregation of bio-degradable and non-degradable is not being done now and once the Exnora-aided cleanliness drive begins, the segregation would also take place.

At present, the waste dumped at the yard in Siraj Nagar is being used for manure generation and the private agency doing the work was paying a rent of Rs 1,000 a month and also paying Rs. 100 a tonne as royalty for every tonne of manure generation.

In the subsequent phases, the project would also look at clean water, sanitised public conveniences, clean drains, waste water treatment. In a nutshell, beginning April the Mettupalayam Municipality will begin its march towards a cleaner town, Mr. Sathishkumar said.