SURYAPET/WARANGAL/ADILABAD/SANGAREDDY: Suryapet in Nalgonda district was awarded Swacch Sarvekshan award by the Union Ministry of Urban Development for maintaining cleanliness and sanitation. Almost a year later, the municipal commissioner is hopeful that they will win the award for the second time as they have been maintaining their cleanliness standards. However, the situation is not the same in other districts of Telangana. While Warangal is fairing well, districts like Adilabad and Sangareddy are still awaiting waste management systems to be set up in place.
Awarded the Dustbin-Free municipality award in 2017, the Suryapet municipality is still well maintained with regard to sanitation.
The Suryapet municipality has 34 wards with a population of 1,50,000 people and there are about 214 private and 90 regular sanitation workers in the municipality. These workers go collecting garbage from door-to-door which comes up to 62 metric tonnes. This garbage is then dumped in the outskirts of the town. Apart from this, the municipal authorities have arranged 50 wet and dry garbage dustbins at the main centers and commercial complexes.
Inspection of the wards is done on a daily basis where the municipal commissioner, N Shankar instructs the sanitation workers about cleanliness of the town. In view of the recent municipal workers strike, the commissioner deputed private workers to maintain sanitation in the town. They are hopeful that they will win the award this year too.
After Warangal was included in the smart city programme, the Greater Warangal Municipal Corporation (GWMC), has been taking measures to improve solid waste management in the city. Currently, solid waste is disposed and treated at the Kakatiya solid
waste management (SWM) park, also known as the Madikonda dumping yard, located about 18 km away from Warangal city.
The corporation is also following two bin system in the city and had so far distributed over 5 lakh bins in the city. About 270 to 300 tonnes of waste is generated every day in the city, but only five to six tonnes of it is reused. The rest goes to the dumping yard. Following this, experts of Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI), who are helping GWMC to maintain sanitation in the city, have proposed to cap the dumping yard instead of transporting the waste to some other location. The proposal is still under consideration.
"We are looking for technology through which solid waste could be disposed scientifically. We have six vermi-compost units in the city where degradable wastes are been treated and developed them into fertilizers," GWMC medical and sanitation officer Dr Raja Reddy stated.
Apart from this, in order to over come the problem of untreated sewage, the GWMC with the help of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation had set up a Faecal Sludge Treatment Plant (FSTP) at Ammavaaripeta area on the city outskirts at a cost of `1.2 crore.
However, the corporation is now planning to set up four more FSTP in the city as the present one has a capacity to treat only 15KL sewage, where as the city generates over 170 KL per day. The corporation had launched an exercise to set up FSTPs with a capacity of 35 KL to 40 KL in localities like Reddypuram, Kazipet and Mamnur. In April this year, the Board of Greater Warangal Smart City Corporation Limited in principle approved setting up a 150 KL capacity FSTP in the city in a phased manner with an estimated cost of Rs 4.8 crore, stated ASCI project monitoring unit coordinator Rajmohan Reddy.
"Corporation want to treat the faecal sludge so that water could be reused for watering plants and the sludge for fertiliser," he informed.
Unlike other FSTP plants which are based on biotechnology, the FSTP at Ammavaaripeta is based on thermal technology.
"This is for the first time in the country, a thermal-based FSTP is being set up by a civic body. This one is much better than bio-based FSTPs as it does not emit any bad smell and the bio waste could be utilised as fertiliser. We are planning to use similar technology for the proposed FSTPs," he stated.
Solid waste management is an unseen phenomenon on Adilabad municipality. Waste segregation and cleaning in Adilabad municipality is at a standstill leading to viral fever and related diseases spreading among people. Waste segregation process which started in 2015 does not take place anymore. There is no lack of awareness among people in Adilabad who have been disposing garbage on the road, piling it up near electric transformers. The segregation ran successfully for some time.
The Adilabad municipality generates 66 metric tonnes of waste per day transporting through the 24 vehicles, while there is a requirement of 40 vehicles. Like in the case of Hyderabad, where separate bins have been distributed across households to segregate dry and wet waste, the same is not being carried out here, as there is shortage of vehicles and also bins.
Some of the garbage loaded vehicles dump the waste in the outskirts of the town, and also burn it, creating problems for vehicles moving on the NH7. The situation is similar in Nirmal, Mancherial and Kumrambheem district municipalities.
Missing garbage bins is a leading issue in most of the municipalities and panchayats in Medak and Sangareddy districts. Six municipalities and four Nagara panchayats in united Medak district and most of the municipalities don’t have a recycling system in place.
Though there are no garbage bins for waste disposal in commercial areas in most part of the town, there are sanitation workers, who go from door to door and collect household waste.
Most municipalities sell dry garbage to private organisations and ITC company, and dispose the wet garbage in the dump yard. In Medak district wet garbage is being used for the preparation of vermi-compost and sold to the needy. This has creating job opportunities for some people. Medak municipal commissioner V Sammayyah said some people are earning a meagre Rs 1,500 a month by separating dry and wet garbage and selling it, while in Siddipet dry garbage is being sold to ITC. A recycling system will soon be installed informed Siddipet municipal commissioner, Srinvas Reddy.
The situation in Sangareddy district is far worse as a place to dump garbage has not be decided on yet. Officials are facing an objection in setting up of dump yard in the neighbouring villages. Very few workers are separating dry and wet garbage and selling it to ITC.
In the past, garbage used to be recycled in Sangareddy, but it has stopped after some time. People allege that sanitation officials don't take much interest in cleanliness and as a result, garbage is seen everywhere.
(With inputs from A Seshacharyulu, Anil Kumar, Rajareddy, P Krishna)