KOLLAM: Being the most densely populated state in the country, waste management has always been a daunting task for Kerala. With unscientific waste management practices proving a trigger for outbreak of communicable diseases, the state government is now mulling a major overhaul of waste management practices. It is believed government is toying with the idea of ensuring private sector’s participation in waste management. Under this, private players with proven expertise in the field will be allowed to set up modern waste management plants.
While it has been stipulated the plants thus established are only meant to treat urban refuse, it will have to function in an environment-friendly manner. The plants will have to work in tandem with the respective Local Self-Government Institutions(LSGI). As part of this, the government has entrusted the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) to invite global Expression of Interest (EOI).
“Land scarcity is a major issue in Kerala. The location of waste management plants has always a challenge. Above all, we have to tackle local protests. To prevent problems linked with waste management from getting out of the hand, an urban waste management facility which focuses on environmentally acceptable and sustainable technology is the need of the hour,” said a KSIDC officer.
He said the global EOI focuses on national and international entities with a proven track record in running waste management facilities in land-stressed areas. The entity concerned will have the responsibility to collect, segregate and dispose of all types of waste - both solid and wet- using the latest technology in an environment-friendly manner.
“Decentralisation alone could not produce results in waste management. Centralised projects will have to be commissioned. Also, waste management plants which operate on build, operate, transfer (BOT) basis or public private partnership (PPP) model could come out with better results,” said C V Joy, Director, Operations, Suchitwa Mission.Meanwhile, it is said the change in mindset which led to the government looking to tap into private entities’ expertise followed the realisation existing waste management practices are somewhat deficient or unscientific in meeting the rising challenges.Officers say as garbage piles up resulting in groundwater contamination and creating a fertile ground for vector-borne communicable diseases, the solution lies in shedding conventional practices and embracing new strategy including private participation.
Private players with proven expertise in the field will be allowed to set up modern waste management plants The plants will have to work in tandem with the respective Local Self-Government Institutions
The move comes in the wake of realisation existing waste management practices are somewhat deficient or unscientific in meeting rising challenges