The Surguja district will soon set an example for other districts in Chhattisgarh by making use of waste polythene bags and plastic collected for construction of roads.
District Collector Ritu Sen in a workshop on solid waste management held here announced that the plastic and polythene waste collected from an intensive drive in Ambikapur district headquarters carried out recently will be used for construction of roads.
She said that appropriate management of solid waste from houses, hotels, shops, restaurants, hostels and other establishments is imperative. By proper management of dry and wet waste, we can not only keep the city clean but also get relief from pollution. Initially the spots for disposal of waste should be managed, said Sen, adding, the household waste and those generated from other institutions should be segregated and the dry waste and wet waste should be kept in separate boxes.
Sen directed the Municipal Commissioner to commence the process of management of solid waste in each Ward within three months. The present spot where dustbins have been installed would be identified and these spots will be painted with green colour where people will throw the waste which will be collected by the Municipal Corporation.
The Collector said that income will also be generated from solid waste management. The waste from vegetable market, hostels, restaurants and houses could be used for feeding cattle and other animals. This will enhance the production of milk, milk products, eggs, etc.
The new system of solid waste management will be started initially in four wards including Ward number 20, 21, 43 and 44. An action plan has been prepared for this and responsibilities have been assigned to the concerned officers accordingly.
The Municipal Corporation has identified the households with no toilets and the Collector has directed to arrange for public toilets in these areas to check open defecation.
She ordered that construction of toilets should be started immediately in the identified areas. Apart from this, publicity should be done to create awareness among people with help of audio-visual means and distribution of handbills and pamphlets, Collector said.
Ambikapur Municipal Commissioner AK Haldar assured that plastic granules will be used for construction of roads. Congress legislative Party leader TS Singhdeo who was present in the workshop praised the initiatives taken by Ambikapur Municipal Corporation to maintain cleanliness in the city but said that people will take time to change their mentality to adjust themselves according to the new system.
Addressing a workshop on solid waste management, Singhdeo exhorted upon the corporators, officers and employees of the Municipal Corporation to play their role in maintaining sanitation and cleanliness in the city.
It may be recalled that early this month, in the tribal heartland of Chhattisgarh in Narayanpur district of Bastar, the ditrict administration rigorously started implementing the order regarding ban on use of polythene carry bags across the district.
The Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) of Narayanpur Deepak Soni had chaired a meeting attended by representatives of trade bodies in the district to provide them details related to ban on use of polythene carry bags.
He told the representatives of trade bodies to encourage citizens to start using paper bags or bags made of jute and cloth as an alternative to polythene carry bags. Soni had also directed officials attending the meeting to carry out elaborate publicity of the campaign using various mediums to educate citizens regarding ban on use of polythene bags across the district.
It is noteworthy that State Government has constituted State-level Advisory Committee for monitoring the implementation of provisions of notification released by Union Ministry of Forest and Environment New Delhi in the year 2011, regarding proper disposal of waste plastic.
The Committee has been formed by Urban Administration and Development Department. Principal Secretary of Urban Administration Department is the chairman of this committee.
There is a provision of including one expert from each of Environment Department, Environment Conservation Department, local Urban Body, NGO, one from industrial area and one expert from education field, as members of the Committee. Director of Urban Administration and Development Department is the Member Secretary of this committee.
In November last year, the Chhattisgarh government had decided to declare the State as ‘Plastic Carry Bag Free State’ and it came into effect from January 1, 2015.
“Article 48-A of the Constitution of India envisages that the State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment. Hence, Chhattisgarh government is of the firm view that plastic carry bags are detrimental to environment and also to the health of people as well as animals,’’ the government statement added.
It is observed that that plastic carry bags causes blockages in drains and gutters, leading to serious environmental problem. In order to prevent such environmental hazards, the State Government has decided to declare Chhattisgarh State as a ‘plastic carry bag free area,’ it stated.
The State government ordered that no person including shopkeepers, retailers, wholesalers, traders, vendors etc, should use plastic carry bags. The State Government further ordered that from January 1, 2015 onwards, no person shall manufacture, store, import, sell or transport plastic carry bag in Chhattisgarh State.
It has been clearly stated in the notification that the words ‘plastic’ and ‘carry bags’ shall have the same meaning as defined under the Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011. The containers used for packaging food material, milk and raising plants in the nurseries are not carry bags. State Government further directs that District Collector, Officers of Commercial-Tax Department, Regional Officers of the Chhattisgarh State Pollution Control Board, All Commissioners/Chief Municipal Officers of urban local bodies of the State will implement these directions and file complaints.
It may be recalled that the Chhattisgarh Environment Conservation Board (CECB) recently ordered the officers of local bodies to strictly ban the burning of plastic and solid waste in public places in the entire State.
In a circular to all the officers of the local bodies, the Board said as per the order of year 2000, the burning of solid and plastic waste in the open are banned and is against law. The circular said that it has come to the notice of the Board that the plastic waste was being burnt in the open, thus polluting the air in the vicinity. It is a clear case of violation of law, it stated.
Stern action should be taken to prevent burning of solid waste material in the open. If any local body ignores the order then law will take its own course, the CECB stated in the circular.