New law for stricter waste management: Minister Rajesh

However, he highlighted the  importance of ensuring source-level waste management and doorstep collection, which are still pending.
Minister for Local Self-Government M B Rajesh
Minister for Local Self-Government M B Rajesh

KALPETTA: The state is set to pass legislation next month in a concerted effort to ensure stricter implementation of waste management measures, Minister for Local Self-Governments and Excise M B Rajesh said on Monday. 

Recognising the government’s commitment to achieving a  garbage-free Kerala through the ‘Malinya Muktham Nava Keralam’ drive by March of next year, Rajesh stressed the need to overcome the slow pace of execution. He emphasised that the process must go beyond merely distributing kitchen bins to households.” We have the latest technologies available to collect and dispose of solid waste. Urban Local bodies must make best use of them through exemplary leadership interventions,” he said.

Speaking at the zonal workshop for ULBs, organised by the Kerala Solid Waste Management Project (KSWMP) and attended by delegates from the northern districts of  Kozhikode, Kannur, Wayanad, and Kasaragod, the minister urged completing the first round of the drive this month. However, he highlighted the importance of ensuring source-level waste management and doorstep collection, which are still pending.

“Yet we are not done with implementing measures to ensure source-level management of waste and doorstep collection,” he noted at the workshop named ‘Maattam’. “Municipalities and  corporations should make every effort to complete these steps.”

The minister also addressed the issue of potential resistance from local communities regarding the setup of waste-treatment plants nearby, emphasising the role of councillors in resolving such concerns effectively.
Regarding KSWMP’s support for solid waste management projects, the minister suggested envisioning these facilities as eco-parks that serve as community centres,  especially welcoming to children and women.

“We are ensuring that Haritha Karma Sena members receive adequate working tools and wages. Additionally,  individuals who fail to pay the user fee are subject to penalties, along with building tax payments,” he said adding, “The money collected through  these measures can be utilised by local bodies for various purposes.” 

The workshop included contributions from various officials, including Kozhikode  Mayor Beena Philip, Kannur Mayor T O Mohanan, Additional Chief Secretary Sarada Muraleedharan, KSWMP Deputy Project Director U V Jose, Municipal  Chairman’s Chambers Chairman M Krishnadas, Urban Affairs Director Alex Varghese, and Harshan S of the Suchitwa Mission. They collectively discussed the shortcomings in solid waste management and explored ways to enhance public awareness on the matter. 

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