Amid pandemic, waste piling up at material collection facilities in Ernakulam

Twenty-five grama panchayats in Ernakulam were found lagging in clearing solid waste stored in material collection facilities (MCFs) amidst the pandemic crisis.

The piling up of waste had peaked around April. Efforts to clear the waste were hit following the second wave of COVID-19. An assessment by the Suchitwa Mission and Haritha Keralam Mission revealed that MCFs in 18 grama panchayats were filled to capacity.

The situation at the mini MCFs in five panchayats was no different. The MCFs have to be set up by the local bodies concerned to store waste collected from households and commercial establishments. The vendors engaged in transporting waste for use in the recycling industry collect it from the facilities.

With the lockdown in place, the process of collecting and transporting waste was affected. Officials of the Department of Local Self-Government said the government’s Clean Kerala Company would collect the waste till May 31 as part of preparatory works ahead of the monsoon. The local bodies have to remit a fee of ₹10 per kg of unsegregated waste to the company for collecting it.

Only five grama panchayats and five municipalities in the district have MCFs operating as per the norms prescribed by the authorities. Twenty-eight panchayats lack even basic facilities while 32 do not have adequate space to set up MCFs. Twenty-five grama panchayats were yet to set up the facility.

Nine panchayats had set up collection facilities in all wards while 24 had constructed them on a cluster basis. Forty-three panchayats do not have even mini MCFs. Thirty-three panchayats had authorised an agency or a group for managing the facility. Thirty-four MCFs were constructed as part of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.

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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 8:01:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/amid-pandemic-waste-piling-up-at-material-collection-facilities-in-ernakulam/article34579913.ece

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