KOZHIKODE: The ambitious project launched by Suchitwa Mission to rope in scrap dealers and rag pickers into solid waste management has received a lukewarm response. Only 118 scrap dealers and rag pickers have registered under the project in Kozhikode since May. The solid waste management project launched last year envisions using the scrap dealers and rag pickers for the purpose in a big way. The plan was to prepare a comprehensive data bank of ‘akri’ network by registering such dealers.
The database is expected to help scientifically dispose e-waste and plastic waste from all local bodies. “Of the registered people, majority are rag pickers. Twenty five are from Corporation limits. As the project has evoked a cold response, we have appointed resource person in each panchayat for pushing up the registration numbers,” said Suchitwa mission Kozhikode Assistant coordinator K.P. Radhakrishnan. As per the project, the rag pickers will be given identity cards and assigned registration numbers. The details of scrap dealers in each district will be linked to the web portal of the respective local body.
Though registered persons could avail government welfare measures in future, no awareness on this aspect was made. According to sources, many scrap dealers were reluctant to come forward for the fear of coming under Income Tax department’s scrutiny. Besides the registration purpose, the rule to set aside 10 per cent of the total plan fund of each panchayat for waste disposal is expected to find a solution to the perennial problem of waste management. “Registration would help scrap dealers and rag pickers to make more profit and importantly, delivering a prominent role in stamping out the waste menace,” Mr Radhakrishnan added.