Monday, September 27, 2021

Waste management

Waste disposal is a challenging task for urban management institutions. The loads of waste we produce these days pose a tough task. What compounds our job is that our open spaces are shrinking. In a city like Dimapur, we used to have ample open spaces that would take this waste in; another factor that helped was that the waste would almost entirely be biodegradable. Now the things have changed. And changed totally! One, the amount of waste is manifold more than it used to be. Two, the open spaces are gone. Three, the non-biodegradable waste is creating huge problems. In this situation administration is finding it difficult to manage the problem. Collecting waste from all households, and then pool it at some place may give us an impression that we are somehow disposing off the waste, but that sends out a wrong impression. The facts on ground are quite contrary. Those living around the dumping sites know what it means. These people are used to protests. And this is all understandable. The whole area stinks badly, making life of the people in those areas miserable. It is difficult to manage those little minutes when one drives near such a dumping site. Now imagine living in the same area. The question is on whose cost this waste is managed in this city. The residents of the surrounding areas of the major dumping site in Dimapur allege that the disposal doesn’t happen in a scientific manner, hence the problem. If that is the case, the concerned officials must take note of it and put in place the latest equipments to deal with the waste. Also there is need to focus on the segregation of waste at source. If individual household is sensitized in this regard much of the problem would not prop up at all. If the biodegradable waste is dumped at the source, it would relieve the department of much of the burden, and also save the dumping site from stinking. It needs a focused and comprehensive drive to ensure that biodegradable waste is managed at the level of the user.
Indeed there is no two second opinion that in the modern times of runaway consumerism, waste management has become a huge challenge. Modern day states and governments are finding it very difficult to manage the solid waste. It has created mega difficulties and we are facing such times where it threatens the urban as well as rural life. The developed nations have been very particular about meeting this challenge, resorting to newer methods of waste management. The segregation of the waste at the source is done in such a way that almost the entire degradable waste is dumped at the source, even converted into something productive. Whatever waste is then left is disposed off in the most scientific manner so that there is less pollution and it doesn’t affect the environment. But in our part of the world things are really worse. The mountains of waste can be seen at places and it is simply taking on proportions that are unmanageable. In big Indian cities this is becoming an environmental catastrophe. In our State things are far worse than anywhere else. Dimapur city is host to every kind of waste. You travel any place, drive on any road, walk down any street and it greets you with an offensive smell, and filthy sight. One wonders those closer to these dumping yards, how they manage to live. This waste has also choked our water bodies. The Dhansiri River has breathed last because too much waste was dumped into them and they couldn’t survive. One of the stark sites is the green meadows that God has bestowed us with. We have spoiled these green meadows. Similar is the fate of the scenic spots in the State. Elsewhere in the world people crave for such beautiful scenes, but here we are behaving criminally; our negligence is marring the beauty that was given to us by nature. One can only appeal the people to mend their behaviour and also ask the administration to take note of this grave danger to our environment.