Collector K. Senthil Raj has created an effective solid waste management system at Kumaragiri near Pudukottai for converting the degradable garbage into manure, which effectively averts bird-hit incidents in the nearby Thoothukudi Airport besides creating revenue for the rural local body by selling the manure.
The garbage getting generated in five village panchayats around Thoothukudi Airport, which is undergoing rapid expansion with longer airstrip to handle wide-bodied aircraft, is being dumped at different places – mostly on private patta lands - by heads of these rural local bodies. This callous management of solid waste management causes health issues besides triggering minor law and order issues in the villages as the owners of the lands on which the garbage is dumped and the residents living closer to these nauseating yards object to this practice. Moreover, birds being attracted by the degradable waste getting dumped in the spots closer to the Thoothukudi Airport pose serious threat to the aircraft during landing and take-off.
Dr. Senthil Raj designed a solid waste management programme exclusively for these five village panchayats. As he persuaded the Airports Authority of India to fund this solid waste management programme, the AAI released ₹ 90 lakh from its Corporate Social Responsibility Fund for implementing this scheme. As per this project, several tonnes of solid waste getting generated in all the five village panchayats is brought to the integrated solid waste management yard at Kumaragiri near Pudukottai. After segregating the refuse into degradable and non-degradable waste, the degradable waste is being converted into manure while the non-degradable waste like plastics is shredded to be used for other purposes.
Since the non-degradable waste is converted into manure, it no longer attracts the birds that pose threat to the aircraft landing and taking-off at Thoothukudi Airport. At the same time, the Kumaragiri village pancahyat gets decent revenue by selling the manure to the residents, who use it for their homestead gardens.