There is no such thing as “away” when we throw anything away, it must go somewhere. We can no longer roll our eyes at a problem as major as this. The gravity of this issue is directly linked to the mismanagement by not only the people but the authorities themselves, which is not the case everywhere, but is definitely something that needs to be carefully researched. In research conducted by Gaia Bharat Eco Services LLP, the problem of solid waste management was closely investigated in various villages. Here is a brief analysis of what we found:
Amboli, a small village located to the south of Maharashtra, in the Western Ghats, is a very well-known tourist spot, as well as a biodiversity hotspot. The village is in the Western Ghats and is one of the places in India that receives the most rainfall and receives the most rainfall in the state.
The challenges that have been faced were –
Organic waste is mainly burnt by the villagers or is eaten by the cow/buffaloes and other small animals around the village.
There is zero waste collection
No policy for solid waste management
If that’s not enough, then here are some major challenges faced by the campaign members and partakers –
No support from the Gram Panchayat:
As the village did not have an SWM policy, the GP did not support the cleaning-up campaign.
Manpower and time:
During the 44 days of collection and segregation, only 5-7 people took part in this endeavor which meant more time (5 hours every day) and effort being put in.
Adrahati, West Bengal
The status in Adrahati looked a little better than Amboli, but let’s have a look at what we found –
Biodegradable and farm waste: Compost Pits or feed to Cows
Non-biodegradable waste: Near ponds
Hazardous waste is collected by the panchayat from the village hospital
It was concluded that the Swachhta status report revealed that West Bengal has the highest growth rate for the construction of toilets and the reason it ranks slowly in solid waste management is that the processing rate of SWM is just 6% whereas Delhi’s 52%. West Bengal has better construction and availability of public toilets. It severely lacks behind most urban centers in processing its waste, whereas Indore has a ULB urban local body score of 1359 by 1400, but West Bengal has a score of 0.
Gonda (Uttar Pradesh)
The Gonda Picture: Dirtiest city in India lacks even the basics of cleanliness
Officials blame it on poor resources and manpower, saying the municipal corporation has no permanent head and just 377 safari workers cater to the over 1.5 lakh population of the city.
The State of the City
“In Gonda, you won’t find dustbins. Hence, you will see people tossing garbage-filled plastic bags from their balconies or drop them on the roadside when they leave for office,” says Shiv Sharan Shukla (65), a resident of Civil Lines.
“Every day, while going to the temple, I walk carefully by the garbage heaps. Any vehicle passing by could splash the dirty water on my clothes,” he says.
Garbage usually lies on the roadside and much of it is burnt by safai (cleanliness) workers or residents. The city has 10 big drains connecting to small drains to take out sewage in the Bisuhi river. Almost all of them are choked with encroachment and the dirty water from houses overflows and seeps into the earth and mixes with the groundwater.
The state of solid waste management in the small village still needs careful attention, as the repercussions can be catastrophic and since it’s probably not the best idea to rely on people about something they don’t understand already. Authorities should take up the charge to educate people and speed their efforts in solid waste management.