Sensitization programme on municipal solid waste management

Gangtok, September 28 (IPR): The State Pollution Control Board – Sikkim organized a sensitization programme on municipal solid waste management today at the Conference Hall of Gangtok Municipal Corporation, Gangtok. The programme which was organized for councilors of East and North District urban local bodies saw the participation of Mayor and Deputy Mayor of GMC as well as Councilors from GMC, Rangpo, Singtam and Mangan municipal bodies.

The programme had the presence of Mayor GMC Shri Nell Bahadur Chettri, Deputy Mayor Smt Tshering Palden Bhutia, Councilors from all districts, Chairman SPCB Dr. Thomas Chandy, Member Secretary State Pollution Control Board Shri Gopal Pradhan, Joint Director Smt. Kusum Gurung and officials of the GMC and SPCB.

The programme began with a welcome address by Member Secretary, SPCB Shri Gopal Pradhan. He briefed about solid waste management and handling and emphasized on the role of community participation in managing solid waste. He also appealed to the councilors to work in tandem with SPCB to make Sikkim a plastic free state, and educate the mass on segregation and safe waste disposal. He stressed on the need to eradicate the NIMBY principle (not in my back yard) in terms of waste management, because making disposal of the various wastes that we generate has become one of our most urgent and difficult public policy problems. He also appealed to the councilors to initiate ‘Safai Abhiyaan’ on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti on Oct 2nd in their respective wards. The drive will help them trace the use of plastic waste and generate a data graph.

A brief Power Point Presentation was made by Joint Director, SPCB Smt. Kusum Gurung on topics covering the Waste Management Rules 2016, Waste hierarchy, Waste regulation and waste management challenges. She appealed to the councilors to ensure the three essential components of environmentally-responsible consumer behavior – i.e reduce, reuse and recycle in their respective wards. She emphasized on the importance of segregation of wastes into biodegradable, non-biodegradable and domestic hazardous wastes by the waste generator and how this facilitates waste management at subsequent stages in landfills.

Executive Environmental Engineer, (SPCB) Shri Ranjan Rai also made a presentation highlighting the duties of the Urban Local Bodies and Village Panchayats for Waste Management. He stressed upon the MOU guidelines that needs to be adopted and how community participation has a direct bearing on efficient waste management. He provided a glimpse into the technologies for waste management available which ought to be introduced for minimization of waste entering landfills.

Shri Ritesh Gurung of Central Pollution Control Board’s Regional Directorate, Shillong discussed some of the best practices adopted in the North East Region.

Mayor GMC Shri. Nell Bahadur Chettri in his address, thanked the SPCB for the sensitization programme and vouched to put the theory into practice.

The participants interacted and discussed various aspects of waste management and practical problems encountered in waste management in their local bodies and options to deal with these. It may be recalled that the Central Government has imposed a ban on certain single use plastics by its recent amendment of Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016.

Chief Scientific Officer (SPCB), Shri B.K Chettri proposed the vote of thanks.

Earlier, waste dealers from various wards were felicitated under the ‘Kachra Alag Karo Abhiyaan’. Waste management workers from different wards were presented with khadas and memento for carrying out best practices as to manage solid waste effectively in the society.

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