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New techniques to dispose of garbage

By Our Staff Correspondent

MANGALORE, JUNE 19. With the monsoon is full swing Mangalore is all set to deal with garbage disposal with new techniques. People are gaining better understanding of the problems created by unscientific disposal of garbage, particularly solid waste, because of the efforts of social workers, officials of the Health Department and a few people's representatives.

The efforts of the former councillor, Judith Mascarenhas, in initiating the "Keep your city garbage free'' movement seem to be yielding results as many wards are adopting it.

One of them is Dongarkeri (Ward No 30). People of this ward have decided to segregate garbage into solid, biodegradable and kitchen wastes, which will be collected by municipal workers.

Devananda Pai, councillor, says the ward has one of the largest open drains in the city, which was filled with solid wastes. When it rained, the drain overflowed. But this monsoon, things have improved because of the awareness about using the new techniques of disposing of solid wastes. The planners, civic leaders and people, who have seen this as a positive development, have taken a pledge to support the movement.

The Mayor, K. Diwakar, said garbage bins were slowly being done away with in the city. Machinery had been procured to clear garbage without using physical labour. A lorry had been bought to clear garbage. Mangalore was the second city to have this facility after Bangalore in the State.

He told The Hindu that the samithis formed for waste management in each of the 35 wards comprised the Nairmalya Samithigala Okkuta. The Okkuta was a non-government organisation, which collected garbage from the wards and deposited it at a place from where the corporation's lorries transported it for disposal.

Each samithi was headed by a resident of the ward and assisted by six or seven persons, who identified collection points for garbage and supervised its removal.

Though not new, the system had been evolved in consultation with youth associations, mahila mandalis, educational institutions, social workers and the people. The concept was slowly gaining acceptance in Mangalore. There were many areas to be covered such as Suratkal, Ullal and Bantwal. The system had its own limitations as each garbage collector could cater for only 120 to 130 houses a day, though there were areas with over 1,000 houses.

As Mangalore had a hilly terrain, the garbage collectors could not move quickly from place to place. The problem was compounded during the summer and the rainy seasons. However, there was no dearth of labourers.

The Okkuta was now faced with the task of convincing more households to dump their garbage at a particular time of the day so that the system would work without interruption.

The Corporation Commissioner, V.S. Nayak, said the corporation should work in tandem with the new system. However, Mr. Nayak said that during the monsoon "green garbage" (removed from roadsides, parks and residential areas) came up to be over 10 truckloads every day and it was a burden on the corporation's garbage disposal system.

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