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Monday, September 27, 2010

Alarming level of solid waste pollution in Ranchi

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A tourist to Ranchi, travelling in train is supposed to be attracted by the natural beauty and undulating topography of the plateau of Jharkhand. But, no sooner than he comes out of Ranchi junction and starts moving through city streets he has to pas through a number of heavily polluted areas efficient enough to convert the previous images in his mind into a distracting collage of images of solid waste and decaying things.

The Central Pollution Control Board in its latest release has pointed towards 47lakh 72 thousand and 720 tonnes of solid wastes and 11 lakh 73 thousand 840 million polluted and contaminated water in the form of liquid waste released into the environment of Ranchi every year. Out of all the solid waste produced here in a year, about 18lakh 27 thousand tonnes remains disposable, about 25 lakh 46 thousand tonnes remains recyclable, and about 2 lakh 36 thousand of waste remains unfit for any treatment other than incineration.

Here in Ranchi no one has ever seen any solid management option for the disposal of hazardous and other types of solid waste. A plant for the treatment of bio- medical waste is lying useless since 2008. A biomedical waste treatment plant has been found functional in Jamadoba area. As such, the condition of pollution in Ranchi due to solid waste and even due to liquid waste is very grim and alarming.

Experts are of the opinion that most of the people living in the city area lack civic sense. Most of the drains and sewerages in the city have no destinations. Under this condition the solid waste dumped into drains remain decomposing all the time releasing unpleasant smell to intoxicate the air. Earlier, a non-government organization worked for some years by adopting door-to-door collection method. But it too left the work as no dump yard in the nearby area was ever allotted to it for dumping the waste collected by its volunteers from door-to-door. The NGO used to charge a minor fee from every household, and the same too was not acceptable to many family heads who argued that the same was the responsibility of the Municipal Corporation. Though the Municipal Corporation has upgraded its various systems during the last two or three years, it has not been able to ensure proper sanitation due to lack of sufficient number of safai karmacharies. On the other hand citizens tend to put each and every responsibility on the government and very few initiations towards cleanliness have ever been taken up by civilians living in the city. With the prevailing plastic culture, it is rather harder to infuse civic sense in the public having the habit of throwing all the solid waste in plastic carry bags on roads, into drains, and even towards the gates of houses of other people. If the system of waste management has never been formed on the community level, how can anyone say about its failure?

Currently, the employees of the Municipal Corporation are on strike owing to their different demands. No alternate arrangement has ever been made, and now it is feared that the community health may be risked by the spread of some of the diseases like dengue, malaria, etc due to the gradual decay of the accumulated waste. As per the national standard, one person is required for cleaning 500 meter length of a road or a stream, but in Jharkhand not a single worker is employed even to clean 5000 meter length of a road or a drain. Under these conditions people of a particular area should organize mohallah- committees and should carry on periodic sanitation drive in their localities.

Key Words: solid waste,tourist, topography, Jharkhand,Central Pollution Control Board,dengue, malaria, national standard, drain, mohallah committee

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