ALAPPUZHA: The Alappuzha municipality has broken new ground in waste management by going in for a decentralised system amid the general trend to opt for big-ticket schemes in tackling urban refuse.
Aided by unstinted cooperation of Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac - who is also the Alappuzha MLA - the municipal authorities have set an example by effectively implementing the decentralised solid waste management system, which has rid the municipal area of the menace. It was in 2012 that the plan was put forth by Thomas Isaac during his stint as a legislator.
Now, the municipality is planning to convert the 16 acres of land utilised for the construction of the solid waste plant at Sarvodayapuram in Mararikulam panchayat into a solar field. According to municipal chairman Thomas Joseph, talks are progressing with the Agency for Non-conventional Energy and Rural Technology (ANERT) for setting up the solar plant.
The municipality constructed the waste treatment plant in 2010 to process around 50 tonnes of waste generated in the municipal area per day. However, the plant could not process the waste generated, resulting in garbage piling up in the compound. The waste accumulation created troubles for the people residing in nearby areas, forcing them to launch agitations. With the shifting of waste coming to a halt, the municipal area choked with waste.
In 2012, Thomas Isaac initiated steps to implement the ‘Nirmala Bhavanam Nirmala Nagaram’ project, which brought relief to the residents of the municipality. The setting up of pipe composting units, biogas plants and aerobic composting units became a huge success and ignited a major revolution in waste management and energy conservation in the municipality.
Now more than 300 aerobic composting units, 4,000 biogas units and 5,000 pipe composting units are operational in the municipality to manage waste, said councillor M R Prem. “Now the municipality is focusing on liquid waste management and cleaning of canals of Alappuzha,” he said.