Monday, April 22, 2019 Last Updated 7 Min 34 Sec ago Malayalam Edition
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A K SHUKLA/UJWALA.P/RAJ . IIMC- KOTTAYAM.
Thursday 07 Feb 2019 09.57 AM

How Kerala successfully managed post flood waste .

Post Floods

Kerala face a devastating flood last year which destroyed 27,000 houses, submerged 45,000 hectares of farmland. Officials said 134 bridges and 16,000 km of Public Works Department roads and 82,000 km of local roads were completely destroyed. But than government decided to BUILD A NEW KERALA , and launched a series of measure in the field of rescue , reconstruction, and rehabilitation. The most important part in rehabilitation is the , waste management. And Kerala successful managed 75000 metrics tons of waste that too in 100 days, and no major disease spread out of these waste.

Background

When the Pinarayi Vijayan government came to power in 2016, they decided to formulate four mission in four core areas .

1. Aardhram, which aims at creating people friendly health delivery system in the state, with an aim to treat every patient with dignity.

2. LIFE, for livelihood inclusion and financial empowerment.

3. Education mission to bring world class facilities into the school. And the Haritha keralam mission.

Let us build a new Kerala

These missions were started in 2017 with an aim to rebuild Kerala but the devastating flood last year shook the state. The Government is working in a dynamic manner with rescue, rehabilitation and waste management. After the rescue operation government decided that "We are not going to Rebuild Kerala , but we are going to build a New Kerala Now the question was how to manage the post flood situation. On August 19, Haritha Keralam which is an Umbrella Mission integrating the components of Waste Management, Organic Farming, Water Resources Management sat together and to calculate the wastage caused due to flood. The standard of living in Kerala is high; as a result most people own a lot of things which post flood as turned into a lot of waste. The expected calculation of waste was about 50000 metric tonnes. Now, clearing up such a huge waste was a challenge.

It is difficult for organisations to address this issue within a short duration. In efforts to seek a solution, the government decided to talk with all the stakeholders, private players, Kerala scrap merchant association, KIEL, Christ Global, Clean Kerala Company, PRIYA, Local administration and other involved groups. “Suchitwa mission and clean Kerala company takes responsibility of coordination with different agencies” said Jagjeewan chief consultant of Haritha keralam mission.

Suchitwa mission a nodal agency for waste management.

Suchitwa mission function as technical and managerial Support Group for Local Self Government Institutions (LSGIs) in Waste Management sector. This mission issued a protocol to deal with different wastes; biodegradable, non biodegradable, e waste, animal carcass among other types of wastes. They took in charge for removal of turbidity of drinking water in the well, post flood cleaning activities, flood relief, developed a procedure for treatment of animal carcass, chlorination of well and cleaning of floors. They issued separate protocol for the above and intimated the district teams to coordinate with local bodies.

There were many citizens volunteers who were involved in cleaning of these houses and they were given appropriate instructions, equipments and precautionary material to carry the cleaning process. The population of Kerala is widely spread, places with no human habitation are less in the state, this, along with humid climate of Kerala made the government to decentralize the waste management. The biodegradable waste is managed at the source itself either through decomposition pits, the animal Caracas is also decompose at the source itself. There is no immediate solution to manage the huge waste piled up after the flood so the decomposition pits were set up close by to clear the waste. The non biodegradable waste like plastic and others are collected either from source or from segregation area with the help of local authorities and police. The non biodegradable waste is treated on the scientific landfill, by KEIL (Kerala Enviro Infrastructure Limited) A lot of mud is filled in the flood hit houses which is a major challenge when cleaning the residential area and other buildings. Nearly 75000 volunteer participated in cleaning whose effort is beyond appreciation.

The task force is chaired by additional Chief Secretary of LSTD who conducts meetings every morning to discuss the progress so far and further plans. Similarly the taskforce at district level is chaired by DM, who coordinating the mission and the progress of each day with the CM to closely monitor the waste management. “More than 2000 scrap dealers, and the resources person help in managing social, economical,
environmental and sustainability of the work and share their experience in the field” said Dr Aayakumar Verma, Executive Director Suchitwa Mission . Diseases spread due to waste accumulation, poor hygiene and sanitation was a major worry and precautionary measures had to be taken. “All the relief camps were provided with toilet facility, adequate drinking water and bleaching power to maintain hygiene” said Mr Verma .

There are 21 team of harithasahayasthapanam (Suchitwa mission) which provides technical assistance, 120 service provider for solid waste management who help in building biogas plant and biogas pot, 7 service provider in liquid waste management including Ultratech Environmental Consultancy and Laboratory, 5 service providers for design, installation, operation and maintenance of modern gas crematorium, 10 e-waste dealers including KEIL, Aspire green work in coordination.

Involvement of private players.

The first challenge was the collection of waste, with the help of the municipality to provide two person from each ward , this provided employment and also helped in waste collection. But collection is not fruitful, if the waste was not segregated properly. With the help of district administration and local Panchayat, a green protocol was implemented to compost bio degradable waste at the source using simple and appropriate composting devices. The non-bio degradable was stored separately to keep it clean and dry and was handed over to local body systems or scrap dealer for recycling. Today, throughout Tiruvalla district you will find a well setup waste management system.

The main challenge was the time bound disposal as we were given only 100 days. “Initially when we bought all the waste in this temporary dumping yard, it was accumulated up to 20 feet , but we almost eliminated everything within 80 - 90 days. 1850 metric tonnes of waste is being segregated by us within the time bound of 100 days”. And after segregation we send all the non biodegradable waste to Clean Kerala Company which is the nodal agency to deal with this ,said Mr Christopher, Christ Global Trader.

Coordinating waste collection and disposal

Clean Kerala Company, works with the objective of ensuring hygiene through scientific methods.The Cleaning operation takes place in two phases: One, people campaign to clean the Houses, Nearly 75000 people participated in the mission in a three week campaign and cleaned the city market and houses and other buildings. The drive was organised in Allepy, one of the biggest flood effected area, the panchayat along the bank of Pamba river was heavily affected, water level reached up to 30 feet, there are cases were people were rescued from the 3 floor of the buildings, cleaning these houses was made possible by this campaign.

Two, the company organises the waste from the houses, institutions and public places and is collected at
one place. District administrators identify a place in municipal or panchayat, for example Tiruvalla stadium wasidentified by administration as a collection point in Tiruvalla. The waste was bought to one place, segregated and safely disposed. There were 4 NGO type of organization: Christ global, Green Home, Kerala scrap merchant association, and Green Worms waste management which helped in the process. The AളA Construction Company provided truck transportation for the waste. KEIL was professionally engaged in hazardous waste management. “In some place where these organization have no reach like ldukki and kottayam , we took help of local panchayat who accumulated waste at one place and then it was transported” said Sri Keshavan Nair, MD Clean Kerala Company.

Final treatment to non biodegradable and hazardous waste.

“Waste generated from flood contain mostly foil, mattress , pillow, furniture and other House hold things which are not that much hazardous. We are operating a facility for the treatment and disposal of industrial hazardous waste. So first of all these thing do not qualify to be disposed here but in the view of the flood situation and by the requirements of the government of Kerala we offers to take non biodegradable waste to our landfill .Totally 7000 metrics tons of waste has come during August, September, and October, and there was one load of e waste. We have facility for disposal of mercury containing tube lights and CFL bulb and we have also entered into an agreement with clean Kerala company, it has not come yet but it will come soon” said N K Pillai , CO of KIEL.

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