Thiruvananthapuram: Lack of scientific waste management in the state has prompted the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to enforce 'Environment Compliance' in Kerala citing that non-compliance of waste management rules are statutory offences under the Environment (Protection) Act. The NGT has given time till October, 2019 to the Chief Secretary of the state to implement the Municipal Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 - which mandates centralised waste management mechanism and household waste collection - at three major cities and five municipalities in the state.
NGT has observed that the violation of the Rules results in deterioration of the environment and the authorities would be made accountable for their lapses. Thiruvananthapuram, Thrissur and Kozhikode are the three cities chosen for Phase I of the action plan which aims at enforcing solid waste management rules. Attingal, Punalur and Kunnamkulam are among the five municipalities selected for the project. The plan is to convert them into model cities, towns and panchayats.
This has come as a huge blow to the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation, which doesn't have a centralised waste treatment plant. Mayor V K Prasanth told DC that the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation falls in phase I and it's impossible to set up a centralised waste plant in the given time. "A 10-member committee has been constituted for coming up a comprehensive action plan within two weeks. We have been asked to implement the rules by October. The Chief Secretary will have to produce himself before the NGT for giving an official update on the progress in this regard," said the Mayor. He said that the Corporation has gone far ahead with its decentralised waste management. "We would be presenting this model as a viable one before the NGT. We have introduced a system in place and we would be fine-tuning it in the coming weeks," said the Mayor. He said that the NGT has the power to impose fines if we fail to implement the rules.
However, according to experts, source-level waste management is expensive compared to centralised waste management. "There will be no issue if the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation is able to produce scientific data on the mode of waste management opted by them. But they should be able to prove that they are able to scientifically dispose of 350 tonnes of waste generated scientifically," said State Pollution Control Board Chairman Ajit Haridas. He said that none of the local bodies in the state is able to manage waste scientifically....