Almitra H Patel, member, Supreme Court Committee on Solid Waste Management, India, on Friday said that officials working at local bodies should have a minimum tenure of two years for effective execution of garbage management plans. She was here to oversee the work under 'swachhta abhiyan', started by the Karnal municipal corporation in three pockets of ward no 2 of the city.
She said that removal of commissioners and other senior officials from the civic department was one of the major hindrances for making the waste management plans a success. The 79-year-old environmentalist added that she had written to the Haryana government on May 3, asking them to explain the state's tenure policies for the officials of the local bodies.
"Frequent transfers at all levels hamper the work. Others states have a minimum one-year tenure for senior postings and premature transfers of commissioners were reversed by the appellate tribunals," she said.
Patel, who filed PIL in 1996 in the Supreme Court against open dumping of municipal solid waste and was instrumental in the drafting of the Municipal Solid Waste Management Rules, favoured framing rules for safe in-house disposal of waste by the bulk generators.
"In Bengaluru, it is mandatory for hotels, restaurants and other large institutes to convert their biodegradable waste into biogas. Similarly, the housing societies with more than 80 units here should be asked to dispose of kitchen waste in a similar manner. The cost-effective mechanism is feasible for any city and the mechanism will reduce financial and human resource burden on the municipalities to handle hundreds of tonnes of waste generated daily from households," she said.
"Till date I have travelled 163 cities for solid waste management-related activities. It was for the first time that in Karnal the community members of ward no 2 showed commitment on segregating waste at their homes. It is encouraging that they have volunteered to form a vigilant committee for successful execution of the cleanliness plan," said Patel, who is involved in several activities, including advisor of solid waste management and clean Jharkhand project and Ganga project in Kanpur.
Dumping garbage even in the roadside bins is a bad idea and our cities and villages should be free from littered garbage. Of the total waste generated by Indian households, nearly 80% is kitchen or biodegradable waste, which can be converted easily into compost," she added.