KERALA

Waste management a burning issue in Kasaragod

With just days left for the onset of monsoon, the district is staring at the prospects of an outbreak of waterborne diseases as the authorities are yet to put in place an effective mechanism to manage heaps of garbage dumped in public places.

The busy locations in the district such as Thayilangadi, KSRTC depot, taluk office premises, Nayaks Road, Anabagilu Road, Bank Road and nearby Cherkala Junction, and Kottacheri petrol pump premises in Kanhangad have been stinking with heaps of garbage. The scene at the wholesale fish market located near the Kanhangad railway station is alarming.

Although the authorities had begun ‘cleanliness drive’ by either burning or burying the garbage, the Kasaragod municipality was yet to find a permanent mechanism to address the issue, Kasaragod municipal chairman T.E. Abdulla said.

Despite the municipality identifying over one acre of land to set up a garbage treatment plant at Kollangana in Madhur village, the authorities had to face resistance from the residents, who even didn’t allow the authorities to inspect the site. The Madhur panchayat also did not issue the no objection certificate for the project, Mr. Abdulla said.

The easy availability of plastic bags despite stringent restriction on the use of non-degradable items pose as a major hurdle in taking initiatives to make the surroundings hygiene.

The municipal chairman cited practical difficulties and law-and-order in taking effective measures to ban plastic carry bags. He said the municipality was ready to support the move if the district and State level authorities took similar initiatives.

The administration had started a week-long cleanliness drive to keep garbage away from all government offices, District Collector P.S. Mohammed Sagir said. A special squad under the District Medical Officer had been constituted to carry out raids in various shops to check if they were selling plastic bags below the stipulated 40 microns thickness, he said.

There was practical difficulties in enforcing total ban on the use of plastic bags as many a manufactures tend to marginally increase the micron level to evade punitive action, Mr. Sagir said.