Lacklustre attitude of municipal authorities in garbage disposal and solid waste management in an Indian city has led to protest by people. This state of affair has not only affected the city's hygiene but has also become a cause of multiple types of diseases, air pollution, unfriendly business environment, etc. A PIL has been filed by an NGO working for cleanliness and hygiene in cities. Seeing the sorry state of affairs, the court has ordered the City Commissioner to give a progress report within three months about the measures taken for proper disposal of garbage and solid waste management in the city. Suppose you are the City Commissioner then discuss your response to the court’s order.
Write your response to the court’s order
Response to the court’s order:
Preparing a preliminary report: A preliminary report of actions already taken by the municipal corporation for the purpose of solid waste management in the city and the measures that have been planned to be carried out in the coming months will be prepared. Same will be submitted to the court as well as can be uploaded on the website of municipal corporation.
Drafting a plan of action for the next three months: A meeting of the concerned department heads will be convened and an implementable plan of action will be chalked out by taking inputs from all the concerned department heads.
Seeking financial help from the State government and resource mobilization for the purpose of solid waste management in the city.
Awareness generation programme: People will be made aware of the importance of minimising solid waste generation and a culture of cleanliness in and around the living space will be promoted among them.
Detailed report of implementation of Plan of Action: After three months, a detailed report will be prepared and submitted to the Court detailing the measures that have been taken for proper solid waste management in the city.
Following best practices: Alappuzha city in Kerala was recognized by UNEP in 2016 amongst the five cities in the world that are working to curb pollution through their sustainable solid waste management practices. It has been implementing a project called Nirmala Bhavanam Nirmala Nagaram (Clean Homes, Clean City) since November 2012. The city has adopted decentralized waste management and is pushing for 100% segregation in all the 23 wards of the city. About 80% of households have biogas plants and decentralized composting system. This model can be followed in pursuit of court’s order.
As the issue involves more of a behavioural change by the people living in the city, actions taken by the municipal administration will take time to bring changes. The role modelling (PM himself promoting Swacchh Bharat Abhiyan), Civil Society Organisations, and NGOs can play an important role in bringing behavioural change among the people through community participation.