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Environment experts guide Dimapur through waste mgmt. dos and don’ts

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By Mirror Desk Updated: Jul 18, 2019 12:04 am
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Eastern Mirror Desk
Dimapur, July 17: A two-day capacity building programme for the implementation of various waste and chemicals management rules got underway on Wed. July 17 in Dimapur.
The programme was organised by the National Productivity Council in collaboration with the Dimapur Municipal Council (DMC), and sponsored by the ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
Dimapur is one among 20 cities selected by the ministry to conduct said programme.
A resource person for the event was Indu Shekhar Singh, former member of the Bihar State Pollution Control Board.

He talked about the Solid Waste Management Rules of 2016 and a number of practices that may be employed for proper waste management.

Singh talked about the scenario of solid waste management in India, and the gaps there are in implementation. Likewise, he talked about the duties of stakeholders, besides the methods of collection, treatment, processing and disposal of waste.

Solid waste includes organic waste (solid or semisolid); dry waste, horticulture waste, construction and demolition waste, sanitary waste, street sweepings, drain silt, and domestic hazardous waste.

Emphasising on the concept of providing primary collection services to the door steps of citizens, Singh said biodegradable (wet organic) waste, residual recyclable and combustible wastes stored in the households, shops and establishments can be collected at the doorstep in separate vehicles/compartments. Then, it may be delivered to the processing facility, he said.

The idea was to collect and transport separately inert waste such as street sweeping and silt from the drain and take directly to the waste disposal site without mixing with waste collected from doorstep. Also, construction and demolition waste may be collected separately and used for making bricks, paver blocks, aggregate or any other useful product.

Indu Shekhar Singh pointed out that non segregation of waste at source was the principle cause of failure of processing facilities—although segregation at source is difficult to enforce. The huge cost of collection and transportation of contaminated waste and subsequent segregation can also be saved.

On the storage of domestic hazardous waste, Singh suggested to the municipal authority to set up a domestic hazardous waste deposition centres at strategic locations in the city and to set up at least one centre per 20 sq.km area. Another method may be to safely store, transport and drop each waste through common treatment storage and disposal facilities (Bio-medical waste and hazardous waste) and as per the direction of the state pollution control board.

“Citizens can play a significant role in minimising the waste. Decentralised composting/ bio gas generation could be promoted, incentivized at household and community level,” Singh said.

“Effective waste management will be possible only when public awareness is created at all levels, community participation is ensured, segregation and storage of waste at source is practised by waste generators and concept of reduce, reuse, recycle and recover is understood by the community.”

In regard to strengthening the mechanisms, he mentioned that solid waste management requires managerial and technical skills. Each city should have a directorate or department for it; it should be led by an environmental or civil engineer with experience in solid waste management.

All these rules are ‘doable,’ for the reason being waste is a resource and needs to be utilised and implemented in business mode, Singh said.

The administrator of the DMC Moa Sangtam also spoke at the event. In his opening remarks, he urged the attendees to be sincere. “Ignorance of the law is not an excuse,” he said. He urged the participants to empower themselves during the knowledge they will receive at the programme. ‘It will help them learn about what needs to be done to make a healthy and environment-friendly city,’ he said.

An environmental engineer at the Nagaland Population Control Board Aghali A Swu, was the guest of the programme. She remarked that the programme was an important event to educate stakeholders on waste management rules.

‘We are all aware that clean environment and clean water is essential for health but if it was not managed and dispose in a proper way it will have a serious effect on our environment and health,’ she said.

‘The ministry has issued various management rules for handling and management. We know that environment has become a global concern and by conducting such programmes, the participants through their active participation will bring about positive outcome and result in the society and state in general,’ Swu said.

Further, she reminded that the quantity of the waste that is generated in Dimapur city alone comprises of 110 to 111 tonnes per day.

Looking for alternatives to single-use plastic
A workshop to promote the alternatives to plastic, after the Nagaland government’s total ban on single-use plastic, was conducted on July 17 at Pughoboto in Zunheboto district.

Shopkeepers, members of nongovernmental organisations, GBs and members of village councils of neighbouring villages, and members of ad-hoc town councils attended the workshop, updates stated. The workshop was organized by the district administration.

The government publicity agency, the department of Information and Public Relations (IPR), issued updates on Wednesday informing about the programme.

Speaking at the function was subdivision officer (civil) of Pughoboto Tiayanger Jamir who informed that gathering about the decision of the government to ban single-use plastic. He urged the people to work on locally arranged alternatives to plastic ban.

‘A collective effort of all stakeholders is the only way to achieve this menace of plastic and it’s alternative,’ he said, adding that more seminars will be organised in the coming days to sensitize the people and also to explore the manufacture of eco-friendly alternatives from Pughoboto itself rather than depending on the market outside Nagaland.

Bokavi, a nongovernmental organisation working in the field of eco-friendly products gave a presentation about what alternatives are available for the people so that they can completely do away with plastic. Eco-friendly products such as carry bags were distributed to all the shops as a gesture of “say no to plastics” and what the alternatives are.

A health official, Dr. Alvis, spoke from the medical perspective about the hazards of plastic and non-biodegradable products.

The extra additional commissioner for Pughoboto, Luchui Fithu also addressed the gathering. She said that the role of women and mothers is crucial in combating plastic as women are the managers of homes and kitchens.

The officer urged the churches to play a proactive role in this matter, the IPR added.

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By Mirror Desk Updated: Jul 18, 2019 12:04:37 am