Friday, May 31, 2024

Waste management

For any urban centre the daily waste poses a huge challenge. The piles of waste produced in a consumerist society like ours are so huge that tackling it is a task of high magnitude. Add to it the shrinking spaces in our habitations. Earlier, in cities like Kohima or Dimapur, we had ample open spaces that would absorb the waste, and the waste would almost entirely be biodegradable. This has changed completely. One, the amount of waste has gone enormously up. Two, the spaces are no more there to absorb it. Three, the non-biodegradable waste is ominously creating problems. In such a scenario governments are finding it increasingly difficult to face the problem. Collecting garbage from individual household; and then pooling it at some place may give us an impression that we are somehow disposing off the waste. But it is not so. Those living around the dumping sites know what it all means. We have seen these people protest time and again. The reasons for them are simple and known. The whole area stinks badly, making life of the people in those areas miserable. It is difficult to manage the minutes while you drive near the site, not to speak of living in the area. So the question is that on whose cost waste disposal happens in these cities. The residents of the surrounding areas of the major dumping site in Dimapur had earlier alleged 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 necessary equipments to deal with the waste. Another suggestion that has been put forth time and again is the segregation of the waste at source. If the individual households are sensitized in this regard much of the problem would not surface 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 huge and comprehensive drive to ensure that no biodegradable waste is thrown on roads, or reaches the dumping site. Indeed 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 solid waste. It has created mega difficulties and we are facing such times where it threatens the urban as well as rural life. 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 the big Indian cities this is becoming an environmental catastrophe. In our State things are far worse than anywhere else. Dimapur 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. There are brooks that have 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. 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.