CM Pinarayi to launch Rs 2,400-crore solid waste management project

Cutting-edge waste management units such as bio-methanation plants, which convert waste into bio-CNG, and windrow compost plants will be established.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. (Photo | Express)
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. (Photo | Express)

KOCHI:  Continuing its proactive approach to solid waste management (SWM) through the ‘Malinya Mukhtam Navakeralam’ (garbage-free Kerala) campaign, the state government is now entering the second phase, which centres around the establishment of crucial infrastructure.

Local Self-Government Minister M B Rajesh informed the media on Saturday that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is set to inaugurate the Kerala Solid Waste Management Project (KSWMP). 
This ambitious project, valued at Rs 2,400 crore, is being financed by both the World Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (ASIIB).

“The primary goal of the KSWMP project is to equip urban local bodies across the state with state-of-the-art and scientifically robust systems for managing solid waste,” Rajesh said during a press briefing.
In the second phase of the ‘Malinya Muktham Navakeralam’ campaign, KSWMP will contribute to achieving a garbage-free state by 2024.

Through the KSWMP initiative, 93 urban local bodies (ULBs) across the state will devise sustainable solid waste management strategies for the next 25 years. So far, 31 ULBs have drafted the necessary plans, outlining their sub-projects. 

“The project is designed to assist ULBs in establishing centralised treatment facilities and optimizing decentralized systems. Cutting-edge waste management units such as bio-methanation plants, which convert waste into bio-CNG, and windrow compost plants will be established. Additionally, integrated facilities under the ‘Bio-Parks’ label will be created where feasible,” Rajesh said.

“In the current fiscal year, 87 municipalities and six corporations within the state will launch sub-projects worth Rs 300 crore. This amount constitutes a quarter of the total grant allocated to strengthen solid-waste management infrastructure. The projects are aimed at achieving international standards and are expected to conclude within a year,” he said.

The project’s vision involves transforming waste collection centres (MCFs) and resource recovery facilities (RRFs) into community spaces with modern amenities and conducive working environments. These areas will be rebranded as ‘Green Parks’. 

KWSMP will undertake the bio-remediation of all solid waste dumpsites within ULBs. Rajesh elaborated, “Every ULB will have designated collection and temporary storage facilities for construction and demolition (C&D) waste management. Furthermore, the project will facilitate the establishment of a green industrial park, promoting substantial local employment opportunities.”  

During the inaugural event, Minister for Law and Industries P Rajeeve will introduce a new design for MCFs and RRFs, developed by architect G Shankar. Leader of the Opposition V D Satheesan will unveil a new grievance redressal mechanism developed by KSWMP.  

The state government has levied a fine totalling D25 lakh based on complaints submitted by the public through WhatsApp concerning the unlawful dumping of garbage throughout the state. Following the Brahampuram fire incident, the Kerala High Court underscored the escalating issue of roadside garbage accumulation, emphasising the necessity for the government to address the matter promptly.

“The government introduced a programme to incentivise individuals who report such violations, accompanied by photo or video evidence, to dedicated WhatsApp or toll-free numbers at the district level. In just 1.5 months, fines amounting to D25 lakh were imposed based on the information shared by informants,” Minister M B Rajesh said. 

He further detailed that informants received 25% of the penalty as a reward. Out of 369 individuals who reported instances, 29 were commended by local authorities. Once the offender pays the fine to the local body, the informers are awarded D2,500 each.

The minister said the squad’s efforts resulted in the collection of D1.60 crore in fines. A cumulative count of 5,965  locations prone to garbage accumulation were reported, with local bodies successfully clearing 5,473 of these sites (91%).   

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