Friday, November 25, 2011

Callousness in waste management by Municipalities in Kochi

It is nothing but the waste disposal and waste management issues that rake up in every day media stories in Kochi. there is nothing positive but mismanagement and callousness of the stake holders that fill the columns of the newspapers every day. Other day, I was shocked by the media report featuring Kalamassery Muncipal chairman statement on waste management. According to the reports he has stated that every one should process and settle the garbage in their own courtyards and Municipality cannot take the responsibility any more. I sense this as the common disease in the governance structure that requires immediate curing. I cannot appreciate this stand any more for the following reasons;

1. I wish the municipalities in Kochi area understand the floor area and land owning structures of each apartment and conventional houses. Many times, it is found that there is no room for waste disposal that leads to the throwing away the disposal in the open ground wherever sited. Municipality only has given the permission as per the plan and building rules. if any one has violated the building rules, they be found guilty and brought before the rule of law.

2. Hon. Kerala High Court has intervened in the waste management mechanism and suggested legal remedies. But what are the rules made by the respective municipalities? what are the plans they have to manage garbage disposal?

3. Issue here that no one recognizes the mandates for a local Government. Even the Municipal chairman thinks that 'a clean and healthy living environment' is not their duty to ensure with. If that is the case, why do we need a Government?

I believe that Municipality has definite role in city management. They can't escape from their responsibilities. Waste management may not be or not ought to be a responsibility of a municipality but they have the responsibility of ensuring a livable environment. if they believe in the rule of law to ensure calm and peace in the neighborhood, same is the case with the healthy environment to be ensured. it is a legal entitlement citizen enjoys in a democratic country.

Instead of disowning from the issue, Municipality has to come up with the stringent guidelines for waste management system for outsourcing it to the best player in the field.From the past, it is proved that no Municipality or Corporation has got the requisite expertise to handle the waste management and processing plants. Instead, they should concentrate on regulating and monitoring of the procuring agencies into the business. Municipality can easily photograph the waste disposal by private agencies and post them on their websites and FaceBook pages. GPS can be utilized to test the efficiency level of the agency than getting into political debates in the council hall.

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