Solid waste management is a scientific concept and modern technology available globally as well within the country which would enable addressing the problem before it reaches unmanageable positions. In fact, Solid waste is being used even for fuel and energy generation apart from other uses.
Its management is one of the most essential services for maintaining the quality of life in the Urban Areas and for ensuring better standards of health and hygiene.
In a Public Interest Litigation before the J&K and Ladakh High Court, the petitioner submitted that not only is there non-segregation of the solid waste collected but also only 10% of the segregated waste is taken to landfill sites and there is no planning about the effective utilization and conversion of the waste into productive uses. The plea before the court also states that the management of waste and waste utilization could be a valuable employment resource to the J&K.
On August 12 this year, the High Court asked Commissioner Secretary, Housing and Urban Development Department, to provide complete details of the steps so far taken and proposed to be taken as well as information regarding utilization of funds received from the Central and State Government in the past regarding the disposal of the solid waste.
“Despite repeated directions, (concerned government functionaries) have not come out with any vision plan in relation to the disposal of solid waste,” the court said, adding, “Enough time has been granted in the past and even costs have been imposed, but with no effect.”
The observations by the court should prompt an encouraging response from the administration.
All the municipal authorities are responsible for providing basic civic amenities including solid waste management services. Municipalities have overall responsibility for Municipal Solid Waste Management.
Households are the major source of solid waste generation. Proper storage of waste in households is a key aspect of establishing good SWM practices. It is important to segregate the Municipal Solid Waste as bio-degradable waste and recyclable/ inorganic waste at the source of generation and the same needs to be implemented in letter and spirit. While it is easier said than done, measures need to be taken to make it a reality. In addition, it is essential to make it mandatory to prohibit waste generators to throw any solid waste in their surroundings, on the streets, open spaces and vacant plots or into drains. All steps must be taken to meet the endeavor at an earliest.