State and civic apathy main reason behind the perpetuation of manual scavenging in India
Despite two legislations prohibiting the employment of persons for cleaning sewers and septic tanks, the death of manual scavengers continue unabated across the country. In the month of March alone, incidents of scavenger deaths were reported from the cities of Bengaluru, Vijayawada and Cuddalore. These figures reflect just the tip of the iceberg as cases of manual scavenging usually go unreported. One of the main reasons for the continuance of such an inhuman practice is apathy--both state and civic. Unless strict penalties are imposed on defaulters, this practice will continue given the deep-seated caste prejudices which serve as an unseen propellant to this barbarism.
Free trip to Singapore as toilet incentive in Osmanabad Zilla Parishad
Marathwada's Osmanabad Zilla Parishad has come up with a novel incentive to boost latrine construction and ensure that all 621 villages in the district are made free from open defecation. The administration has offered an all-expenses paid trip to Singapore to tehsil-level winners for constructing toilets at home. This is part of the Marathwada Hagandari Mukt Sangram, the campaign to rid the district of open defecation. The administration has been working on a war footing to ensure that open defecation is completely eradicated from the district by this Gandhi Jayanthi.
Three West Bengal districts to be ODF free from April 30
Three more districts of West Bengal-- South 24 Parganas, Burdwan and Cooch Behar--are expected to be declared open defecation free (ODF) by April 30, taking the ODF district tally to seven in the state. Nadia in West Bengal was declared the first ODF district in the country while South 24 Parganas is credited with having the maximum number of latrines of all districts in India. Five more districts are expected to be declared ODF in the next financial year. Concerted efforts and massive campaigns launched by district administrations along with the panchayat and rural development department are believed to be the main reasons behind the relative success of sanitation programmes in the state.
BMC to reduce burden on the dumping ground by composting wet waste
With the aim of reducing the burden on the Deonar solid waste dumping ground, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is expected to take up wet waste composting at the Kanjurmarg landfill site. Thousand tonnes of wet waste is expected to be composted every day at Kanjurmarg. In addition, the corporation plans to set up a waste-to-energy project of 3000-tonnes capacity per day at Deonar, the largest so far in India. The Bombay high court had earlier set June 2017 as the deadline for using the Mulund and Deonar landfill sites as solid waste dumping grounds. The city generates close to 9000 metric tonnes of solid waste every day and the number is expected to rise over the years.
Poor solid waste management infrastructure continues to choke India
On a daily basis, India generates close to 1,00,000 metric tonnes of garbage with metropolitan cities like Mumbai and Delhi leading the pack. Experts believe that it is insufficient and inefficient solid waste management facilities which have pushed India into this tight spot. While urban local bodies are responsible for collecting, segregating and processing solid waste within their respective jurisdictions, many suffer from a host of bottlenecks--from technological to financial--which hamper overall efficiency. The recycling industry needs to be tapped efficiently as it is capable of bringing in economic benefits in addition to reducing the garbage burden with its associated negative public health impacts.
This is a roundup of important sanitation related news published between March 25 and 31, 2016.