Chairman of National Green Tribunal Monitoring Committee Justice Subhash B. Adi tells officers
Mysore/Mysuru: Justice Subhash B. Adi, Chairman of National Green Tribunal (NGT) Monitoring Committee, Karnataka, has called upon the District Administration and Local Administrative bodies to devise more effective and decentralised waste management in Mysuru district.
Reviewing the progress pertaining to waste management at a meeting with officials at the Deputy Commissioner’s Office yesterday, Justice Adi said that the officials had projected to him that waste segregation at source in Mysuru is 90 percent. “This is an impressive figure but there is no authentic data as to what percentage of it was being converted to compost which is the standard procedure as laid down by the NGT and Municipal Solid Waste Management rules,” he said.
The meeting was called to take stock of the steps taken to reduce waste generation and scientific disposal of waste in various departments. “There is a general public feeling that the waste management system can be efficient if the Solid Waste Management wing of any urban body is independent of Corporators and MLAs. Lesser the interference, the more efficient the system will be,” he observed.
While officials tried to paint a rosy picture of the effective disposal of solid waste, Justice Adi was unconvinced and his queries did not elicit a satisfactory reply. Deputy Commissioner Dr. K.V. Rajendra intervened and said that suitable changes would be incorporated to ensure that there is end-to-end monitoring of solid waste disposal. He also assured Justice Adi that the waste will be converted into compost for revenue generation. In the coming years, e-waste management will become the biggest problem in the world, which has to be tackled systematically. 80 percent of e-waste generated is possible and much work needs to be done in terms of this modern adequate maintenance, reuse and processing, Justice Adi observed.
C&D waste plant non-starter
Justice Adi asked officials to take steps to curb the debris menace. He said collection and transportation of Construction and Demolition (C&D) waste should be conducted in a transparent manner and it should be transported in vehicles obtained for that work only.
During the review, Justice Adi said that C&D waste will emerge as a major problem in the absence of a suitable mechanism for recycling or management. Replying to the observation, the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) Health Officer Dr. D.G. Nagaraj noted that land for the C&D plant had been allotted by the Mysuru Urban Development Authority (MUDA) and had been transferred to the MCC and the plant would come up soon.
However, Justice Adi recalled that he had received the same answer in the last meeting as well. Dr. Nagaraj replied that the proposal along with the Detailed Project Report was with the Government for final approval.
Justice Adi also pointed out that despite specific laws to penalise violators, officials are taking no steps to stop the dumping of debris and construction materials haphazardly at vacant places in different parts of the city.
Manage waste at source
“If there is a possibility to manage waste at source, many of the problems can be solved. Every household must segregate waste. This system is still not developed as even if waste is segregated, the person who collects will mix them up. This has to change, he said.
Calling for a decentralised mechanism to deal with the waste problem, Justice Adi asked the MCC to encourage people to compost waste at the Ward-level. “The Ward authorities must identify places where minimum composting can be done so that maximum composting is done at the Ward level. Wet waste should not go to processing units or landfill. At the village level, a cluster of Gram Panchayats could be considered as a unit for establishing solid waste management plants to eliminate transportation costs,” he explained.
Justice Adi called upon the officers to strictly enforce the single-use plastic ban. No plastic carry bags must be available and hefty penalties must be imposed. He said that the District Administration should ensure there were plastic waste-free zones.
He expressed satisfaction with the disposal of biomedical waste at hospitals. “The medical waste generated is being dumped at the common biomedical waste treatment plant. Officials can co-opt hospitals and clinics to set in motion a scientific disposal mechanism, he directed.
Penalties must be imposed if the waste is not properly collected and transported and it’s imperative that all the waste processing plants must function properly. Awareness should be created among people regarding the proper disposal of waste and awareness workshops should be conducted along with poster campaigns locally at the level of residential areas, Justice Adi said.
Senior Civil Judge and Member-Secretary of District Legal Services Authority Devaraj Bhute, Additional SP Dr. B.N. Nandini, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) M. Muthuraj and officials from various taluks were present.