Four municipalities in Ernakulam yet to achieve progress in waste management

They fail to ensure 50% coverage in household collection of solid refuse

Four municipalities in Ernakulam — Koothattukulam, Thrikkakara, Muvattupuzha and Thripunitura — have failed to achieve the targeted 50% coverage in household collection of solid waste, set by the Local Self-Government Department (LSGD) in April.

The widening gaps in the solid waste management scenario became evident after the department carried out its second round of assessment last week. A comprehensive evaluation in April had found that 24 grama panchayats and one municipality were yet to start door-to-door collection of waste. Interestingly, Koothattukulam municipality and Paingottur grama panchayat have made no progress in realising the goal since April, according to the latest assessment by the department.

The household collection of waste has improved in Piravom, Kalamassery and Angamaly municipalities, which were found lagging behind in the assessment held in April.

These local bodies could increase the household coverage to 50%. However, 24 grama panchayats among the erring 38 local bodies failed to achieve the 50% target set in April. Only 14 grama panchayats were able to achieve the 50% target. The grama panchayats that initiated door-to-door collection included Nellikuzhi, Keerampara, Pothanikad, Pallarimangalam, Parakadavu, Ayavana, Kaloorkad and Puthenvelikkara.

The overall pace in achieving the target coverage was found to be not moving in the expected rate in most of the grama panchayats and the municipalities. Twenty grama panchayats and seven municipalities, which had achieved 50% household coverage in April, were directed to increase it to 80%. But only five of the panchayats and two municipalities could achieve the target of 80% by July.

Forty-five grama panchayats were told to increase the collection of waste from 50% of the commercial establishments and institutions. Only 12 panchayats could achieve the target. Majority of the municipalities were yet to achieve the desired compliance in the doorstep collection of waste from commercial establishments and institutions.

Six grama panchayats had not formed the Harithakarma Sena for doorstep collection of waste in April. Paingottur and Kizhakkambalam grama panchayats along with Koothattukulam municipality continue to figure in the latest list of local bodies that have not yet formed the voluntary group. The department has asked the Health Standing Committee of the Koothattukulam municipality to ensure the formation of the group before July 31.

The secretaries of the local bodies that are yet to launch the Harithakarma Sena have been given one month to form it and report compliance. Those found failing in achieving the target will face action, according to the directives issued at the evaluation meeting held on July 12.

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