Thiruvananthapuram

A mix vital in waste management: Isaac

Persisting problem: Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan inaugurating a national conference on waste management in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday.

Persisting problem: Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan inaugurating a national conference on waste management in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: S GOPAKUMAR

‘Where centralised plant is not feasible, decentralised plant should be used’

Making it clear that the State government cannot rule out centralised waste treatment plants, Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac has said that a judicious mix of decentralised and centralised systems will be the ideal model to meet the future challenges in waste management. He was speaking at a session on ‘Solid waste management in Thiruvananthapuram — Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,’ as part of the three-day National Conference of Cities for Zero Waste, organised by the city Corporation here on Saturday.

“The government’s stand is that the centralised plants cannot be avoided, but the decentralised model can continue in places where it is not feasible,” he said.

The Minister lashed out at the Green Tribunal and the Pollution Control Board (PCB), for raising ‘baseless objections’ to the successful decentralised model in local bodies such as the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation. He said that several entrepreneurs had now come up, operating pig farms and other such facilities, which are in need of large amounts of waste. Some bodies such as the PCB had attempted to stop even the transport of waste to such facilities.

He said that the government’s aim this year was to make 500 panchayats and 50 towns waste-free. “The work towards declaring the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation as ‘clean’ on August 15 this year is progressing. This will be the year in which a process which we began in 2012 will finally become a success,” said Dr. Isaac.

Sanitation history

R. Ajayakumar Varma, former scientist, National Centre for Earth Science Studies, laid out the sanitation history of Thiruvananthapuram, right from the formation of a town improvement trust in the erstwhile State of Travancore in 1870. He traced the history through the adoption of bucket-type latrines in 7,427 houses, employing 228 manual scavengers in 1900, mandating street cleaning in 1920, construction of 32 public toilets in 1940, formation of scavengers’ union in 1946 and their strikes for various demands, replacement in bucket latrines in 1959, building of latrines in 80% houses by 1991, the opening and closure of the Vilappilsala plant to the current state of the decentralised model.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 7:29:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/a-mix-vital-in-waste-management-isaac/article30832421.ece

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