Concern over waste management in rural areas

Published - December 23, 2019 12:23 am IST - ERODE

Garbage including plastic waste dumped near a farm land at Mullamparapu in Erode.

Garbage including plastic waste dumped near a farm land at Mullamparapu in Erode.

Piled-up garbage in residential areas and conservancy workers setting fire to it is a common sight in many places located on the city outskirts where disposal of solid waste continues to be a concern.

Rapid growth in households led to development of residential areas on the outskirts, particularly in the panchayats of Lakkapuram, Kaspapettai, Muthugoundanpalayam, 46 Pudur, Kadirampatti, Kanagapuram, Nanjai Uthukuli and Kavundachipalayam. As per Census 2011, population in 46 Pudur Panchayat is 16,054 while it is 9,739 in Lakkapuram Panchayat and 5,431 in Muthugoundanpalayam. “The number of households had increased substantially in all these years and the population could be 20% to 30% more in these areas,” said T. Vignesh, a resident of Sanarmedu.

He said that burning of garbage was a common sight in the panchayat and even the road users were affected.

“Motorists using Karur Road and Muthur Road also face problems as garbage is burnt along the road,” said Senthil of Subbaraya Valasu.

Absence of adequate workers and compost yard, very few pushcarts for transporting garbage, inadequate dustbins and residents’ attitude to dump near their houses or in the open are the reasons for the problem continuing for many years now without solution.

Conservancy workers deployed for the work are paid less than ₹ 100 a day. “Wages are not enough for us and we are asked to burn the garbage,” said a worker. People whose houses are located along the Lower Bhavani Project baby canal dump garbage in the canal throughout the year affecting the flow of water while many residents prefer dumping in vacant plots and also at spots that is convenient to them.

Since houses mushroomed in these panchayats, focus should be on implementing effective solid waste management programme. Workers should be paid wages fixed by the district administration, electric vehicles should be used for garbage collection and disposal should be proper, said a trade union member. According to Mohan of Puduvalasu, solid waste management should be the core issue in the local body elections.

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