Decentralised waste system not serving Thiruvananthapuram well
Waste being dumped into sea at Vizhinjam, drains beside NH-66, service roads and flyovers; lack of CCTV cameras encouraging violators
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Waste dumping in public places is rampant in various parts of the city even after adopting a decentralised waste treatment system since the Vilappilshala plant was closed. The poultry waste dumping into the sea at Vizhinjam harbour is a regular sight now, however, the city corporation have not taken any action. Waste is also being dumped at drains beside the NH-66, on service roads, and in the middle of flyovers like Power House and Chackai flyovers.
Given the excessive dumping of animal waste and septage in water bodies and along roadsides, the corporation had appointed special health squads to nab offenders. However, the squad appears to be unaware of the waste dumping at Vizhinjam. Lack of surveillance cameras have encouraged violators to dump waste in public places.
“Last week, three to four men came with motorcycles near the bollard testing unit at Vizhinjam and dumped waste openly into the sea. It was surprising that the local people did not react to these acts. There are also two mosques nearby. At the very least, the mosque authorities should intervene to prevent such incidents in the future,” said Vinod Kumar N, a frequent visitor at the harbour. Another common dumping spot is the narrow drains between service roads and the main road of NH-66 near Muttathara and near Veli beach.
Defunct kitchen bins and aerobic bins
Since the beginning of the waste management project, the corporation handed up to 53,000 kitchen containers to homeowners. The goal was to manage solid waste at the source. According to a survey conducted by the civic body, only about 10,000 kitchen bins are functional, while the remainder lie unused. However, those who started using kitchen bins are in difficulty as the corporation failed to carry out the strategy. The civic body placed approximately 441 aerobic bins at 62 locations around the corporation for the scientific disposal of domestic garbage. Regrettably, many of them are dormant due to lack of upkeep.
Corporation secretary Binu Francis told TNIE that only two squads of three members each are functioning in the city. “Of these, two are drivers. So these numbers are insufficient for catching or penalising offenders. In the last six months, we have seized 67 vehicles that dump waste and recommended the RTO cancel their permits. Though I approached the government about increasing the number of squad members, we did not get the approval,” he said.
Waste disposal by middlemen
Usually, middlemen play a major role in waste disposal in public places. They collect waste from hotels and butcher shops for a price, and then transport it in trucks to be dumped in deserted places. Depending on the shop and the quantity of waste, the amount collected by middlemen varies from I500 to I1,000 per day.