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Dimapur, the garbage capital of Nagaland

By EMN Updated: Aug 02, 2013 12:37 am

S. Henlly phom | EMN
Dimapur, August 1

Dimapur, the garbage capital of Nagaland (EM IMAGE)When the state government is all out to woo tourists, both foreign and domestic to Nagaland, Dimapur, the commercial capital of the state is turning out to be the garbage-capital.
As Dimapur Municipal Council (DMC) is responsible for garbage clearing, there seems to be something seriously wrong with the collection and disposal process. The city, which is the gateway of Nagaland, is littered with garbage. Urinating behind a lamp-post, spitting and throwing wastes on the road seems to be the order of the day.Heaps of garbage are seen scattered and dumped not only on main roads, but are also discarded in front of private residences in almost all the localities. Sometimes, compounds of buildings under construction are turned into dumping grounds by the local residents.
The city’s streets are littered with potato chip packets, and betel nut wrappers. These inorganic wastes clog-up the gutters, and cause artificial floods at the drop of a shower. The open drains also pose threat to pedestrians, recently evinced in the sorry tale of an 83 year old resident of the city who fell to his death in one of these exposed drains in the New Market areaa
There are no dustbins for disposal of solid wastes within the city, and people throw household waste wherever they can, without caring for public health hazards. At night, stray dogs feast on these dumps..
“The entire city stinks, it is really shameful,” Michael Lotha, a resident of Kohima, who was recently in Dimapur, said. Surprisingly, the DMC seems to turn a blind eye to the civic nuisance in the city, which has a population of about four lakhs.
However, Orenthung Lotha, the CEO of DMC refused to agree that it the civic body is solely responsible for turning Dimapur into the garbage capital of Nagaland. He claimed DMC collects 90-100 tonnes of garbage everyday from the 87 colonies in and around Dimapur.
The CEO claimed that heaps of garbage are collected every morning for disposal, but due to lack of civic-sense of the people, the entire city is littered within hours of clearance of the solid wastes. Lotha lamented that with just 139 sweepers and garbage everywhere the odds are against the DMC. Another shocking reality is the absence of a designated dumping ground away from the city to dispose the daily collection of 90-100 tonnes of solid wastes. All waste is currently being dumped in Burma Camp a residential colony. “We have no option as there is no proper dumping site or a treatment plant in the city,” Lotha said.
While the DMC alleges that civic sense is lacking with the public perhaps a vigorous campaign on educating the mass on scientific solid waste disposal techniques by the body is the need of the hour.
An effective ban on use of low-grade plastic bags as a first measure may convey the serious intent of the Municipal body to the public, who by all signs appear to have written them off.
A large section of the residents of the city are educated elites of Nagaland, and use the best electronic gadgets. Some sections of the public argue that educating such residents on solid waste disposal should not be a serious problem.
But for now the DMC respond is that “the proof of the pudding is in the eating.”

By EMN Updated: Aug 02, 2013 12:37:31 am