Thiruvananthapuram: Many block and district panchayats have been setting aside money for sewage treatment plants (STP) ever since the government made it compulsory for panchayats to set apart 10 per cent of the plan fund for sanitation, according to sources in Suchitwa Mission.
Because of the compulsory allocation, grama panchayats have projects which cater to the waste management needs of individuals and communities. So block and district panchayats do not have to spend on these, and have now started to prepare projects for constructing STP.
This year, the government has reduced the subsidy amount for biogas from 75 percent to 50 percent. When the subsidy was 75 percent, Suchitwa Mission would bear 50 percent. Now 50 percent need to be borne by the local body and the other half by the consumer.
Officials say that it is a little early to see how this has impacted the choices of local bodies. They claim that this has not reduced the number of biogas unit projects. The state mission had dealt with 160 biogas plant projects. This year, the state mission has just nine biogas plants. However, officials say that there are many more biogas plant projects at district-level offices of Suchitwa Mission. Some district offices have around 70 biogas plant projects, according to officials.
The mission has been focussing on establishing Material Recovery Facilities (MRF) across the state to manage inorganic waste. Last year, 74 MRF facilities, 31 plastic shredding units and 54 Thumboormuzhi aerobic bin units were established. In addition, 62 MRF facilities and 23 Resource Recovery Centres (RRC) were inaugurated on November 1. The foundation stone for 26 MRF and 3 RRC was laid on the day....