Garbage collection in villages

Dr Raja Muzaffar Bhat
Door to Door garbage collection was a prerogative of cities and big towns only  until recently , but now this facility can be availed by our villages as well. On March 28th  this year I had written a piece in this paper  on the issues of scientific Solid Waste Management in rural areas. I had suggested that funds pertaining to Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MG-NREGS)be utilized for this work. I was not aware about such a facility being already available under national flagship programmeSwatch Bharat Mission (SBM) Grameen sector. The SBM Grameen (Rural) guidelines issued on October 2nd 2014 has a clear policy on Solid Liquid Waste Management (SLWM)in Rural areas of India at each Gram Panchayat( Panchayathalqa). If these guidelines will be implemented in toto by  the department of Rural Development / Rural Sanitation across Jammu & Kashmir, I am sure all the villages in our state will have facilities like door to collection of garbage, its segregation at source and making  organic compost from the bio degradable waste material in the villages itself.
Clean villages under SBM :
The objective of Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM-Grameen)  lays emphasis on  bringing  about improvement in hygiene, quality of life and cleanliness in rural areas across India . Solid Liquid Waste Management (SLWM) is one of the key components of this national flagship programme. The aim of this programme is to create clean and garbage free villages. It is essential that the Information Education and Communication (IEC) interventions focus on Solid and Liquid Waste Management so as to create a need for these activities amongst the population. Through such educational and awareness programmes on solid waste disposal a system for the scientific disposal of waste has to be created in such a way, that will have  a tangible impact on the rural population. Under this programme, the local community has to be motivated to come forward and demand for such a system. Once this demand is created, to ensure that the resources are used efficiently, Solid Liquid Waste Management (SLWM) is to be taken up in project mode for each Gram Panchayat (GP) with financial assistance capped for each village (Gram Panchayat)  on number of household basis to enable all Gram Panchayat’s to implement sustainable SLWM projects. The total assistance under Swatch Bharat Mission (SBM Grameen) for SLWM projects are to be worked out on the basis of total number of households in each Gram Panchayat (GP), subject to a maximum of Rs.7 lakh for a GP having up to 150 households, Rs.12 lakh up to 300 households, Rs.15 to 17 lakh up to 500 households and Rs.20 lakh for Gram Panchayats (GPs )having more than 500 households. Funding for SLWM project under SBM(G) is provided by the Central and State Government in the ratio of 75:25. Any additional cost requirement is to be met with funds from the State/ GP, and from other sources like MP LAD , MLA/ MLC’s Constituency Development Fund (CDF), Finance Commission funding, CSR, Swachh Bharat Kosh and through the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model. Even funds from other sectors can be utilized for solid waste work in villages reads SBM guidelines….
Activities to be undertaken :
As per the guidelines of Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM-Grameen ) under Solid Liquid Waste Management (SLW) , the following activities may be undertaken :
For Solid Liquid Waste Management (SLWM) states are to decide the technologies suitable to their areas. Technologies identified by the Committee on Technologies may also be considered for implementation. Collection, segregation and safe disposal of household garbage, decentralized systems like household composting and biogas plants shall be permitted. Activities related to maximum reuse of organic solid wastes as manure should be adopted. Such technologies may include vermi-composting or any other composting method, individual and community biogas plants.
For Liquid Waste Management states are to identify suitable technologies. Methods adopted for management of liquid wastes may focus on maximum reuse of such waste for agriculture purposes with least operation and maintenance costs.
Government can hire professional organisations for undertaking Solid Liquid Waste Management at village level. Under Swachh Bharat Mission Guidelines Government has been asked to appoint consultants at District and State level as well who would guide the department of Rural development for undertaking solid liquid waste management at village level
Under Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM-Grameen) all the State Governments have been advised to post a Government officer as a full time Block Sanitation Officer in each block of district . Till that is not made operational, the State governments may specifically officially assign SBM activities to a senior official posted at the Block level.  He may be assisted by a Block Coordinator and a Data Entry Operator engaged on contract. These officials shall be provided emoluments as decided by the State.
Conclusion :
Waste management should not be restricted to big cities or towns only.Due to population growth our rural areas have are also been effected with the menace of garbage and polythene. State Government especially Rural Development Department has to come forward to meet this challenge now. Earlier Rural Development department had not a clear mandate to collect garbage from each household in villages , but now Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) gives this mandate to Rural Development Department as well. It would be my earnest  appeal to the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Rural Development Minister Abdul Haq Khan to start the process of scientific waste management at village level. This can only be achieved by collecting waste from each and every household in villages .The garbage has to be segregated  at source and then both dry (polythene, plastic , paper)  and wet waste (kitchen waste , fruits and vegetable waste) can be processed simultaneously in the village itself.
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