Cleaning up the Capital
KOHIMA, NOVEMBER 20
DESPITE the lack in civic sense of many of its denizens, the state capital Kohima has made a unique achievement in becoming the first city in the country to have a fully decentralized sanitation service.
This achievement comes following the distribution on Wednesday , of a mini-pickup truck to each of the nine wards in Kohima for sanitation services. This in the second phase of the Decentralized Sanitation Service (DSS) of the Kohima Municipal Council (KMC) on Wednesday. With this, the DSS has penetrated into all the nineteen wards of the state capital.It may be mentioned that the KMC and District Planning & Development Board (DPDB) Kohima had earlier in August 2011, with an objective to make Kohima a garbage-free town, jointly launched the first phase DSS in the state capital and distributed ten mini-pickup trucks to ten major wards in the town for the purpose of transferring household wastes to the disposal site. The remaining nine wards got their share after two years, on Wednesday.
Coinciding with the distribution of the sanitation vehicles, the KMC held a coordination meeting with the members of the Panchayat, women and youth organizations of all the nineteen wards of Kohima town in the conference hall of KMC office, Kohima, to discuss issues on sanitation management.
KMC CEO, Elizabeth Ngully apprised the gathering on the importance of segregation of wastes at source and emphasized on creating awareness to the masses that the present trend of segregating waste at transfer points is as unhealthy as dumping wastes into streams and drains, which is still practised in many parts of the town. “We have to be environmentally conscious,” she said, adding that the best place to begin is from the doorsteps of the households.
Ngully explained the target of the municipal body to make 100% collection of waste and the need for members of the panchayats, women and youth organizations to chalk out a workable system to make this target possible.
She informed the gathering that the central government is concentrating on development of mission (capital) cities of the country and Kohima, being the state capital, is also a mission city having the potentiality to advance. She, however, pointed out that the city will lack in one way or the other if the citizens do not coordinate.
The municipal CEO also expressed concern over the unwillingness of many people to pay sanitation fees. She explained that the fees collected are set aside for maintenance of the KMC sanitation services. “We should not always depend on funds from the government, rather we should learn to become self reliant,” she asserted.
Ngully also maintained that it is not impossible to have a sustainably clean and green Kohima town but it will require concerted efforts from all responsible organizations and the citizens. The need of the hour is to form a good sanitation committee in all the wards of the town and strictly implement the necessary dos and don’ts, she stated.
She also informed that the NBCC environment & sanitation committee is working in close coordination with various churches, organizations and departments in Kohima including the KMC. She highlighted that one of the new initiatives by the committee is to conduct an annual recognition of the cleanest educational institution.
This comes as a much needed step as we need to create awareness on cleanliness and sanitation at all levels starting from the homes and schools, she observed. Ngully, who is also a member of this committee, pointed out that after visiting over 40 schools in Kohima, she felt that orientation courses on sanitation need to be imparted even for school teachers.
Meanwhile, State Investment Programme Management Implementation Unit (SIPMIU) additional project director, Nell Vasa highlighted various activities and ongoing projects being undertaken by the unit in the state capital. These include solid waste management projects like construction of compost plant, development of sanitary landfill and installation of waste recycling centre. SIPMIU is also implementing water supply projects by replacing 18 major water tanks, refurbishment of water treatment plant, providing a new secondary water distribution network of 318km length with proper zoning arrangements, providing 21 bulk water meters, and 27 fire hydrants in the secondary distribution system etc. While welcoming suggestions from all levels, the SIPMIU official called upon all the citizens of Kohima to cooperate and facilitate in the execution of the projects, which are likely to be completed during the ensuing year.