'Laila' likes its village clean and green

'Laila' likes its village clean and green

A view of the garden next to the waste disposal unit at Shivagiri in Laila Gram Panchayat in Belthangady taluk.

The stench and ugly sight of garbage dumped along the roadside, sometimes overflowing from drains or floating on the surface of tanks, rivers, sea, is not at all uncommon in many gram panchayat limits as well as in cities. Waste disposal in many places simply involves collecting waste from different parts of the city, and dumping everything in a landfill. Once the landfill is completely occupied, a new landfill is identified in a different part of the city to fill it. The landfill has become a big problem to the villagers who are residing in and around the landfill sites.

As an exception, the Laila Gram Panchayat in Belthangady taluk is slowly making a mark in the solid waste management in the district.

The Gram Panchayat is the first Gram Panchayat in the district to have received a vehicle to collect the waste and take it to the waste disposal unit. The gram panchayat had prepared an action plan for Rs 9 lakh for the implementation of solid waste management in the village. Of which, the Zilla Panchayat had released Rs 5 lakh. The waste disposal unit was set up at the cost of Rs 3.4 lakh. The vehicle for the disposal of waste was purcahsed at the cost of Rs 2.47 lakh.

Speaking to City Herald, Laila Gram Panchayat Secretary Prakash Shetty said: “We have placed dustbins in the colonies, near the houses and shops. All the villagers have been asked to dump the waste inside the dustbin. The vehicle was collecting the waste from the dustbin once in two days. However, now the bin is getting filled daily and we will start collecting the waste from the dustbin daily.”

“We have also asked few houses to segregate the waste from the source and hand it over to the vehicle when the vehicle reaches their house. The Gram Panchayat has 1,400 houses with 8,600 population,” he said.

“At the same time, to create an awareness on the harmful effects of plastic and to prevent people from burning plastics, we have set up ‘plastic shoudhas’ at about five
places in the Gram Panchayat limits. People dump the plastics in the ‘plastic shoudhas.’

An organisation based in Mysore has already approached the Zilla Panchayat to collect the plastics which have been collected in the plastic soudhas. The said organisation will utilise the plastics for asphaltation,” he added.

In the biodegradable waste unit set up at Shivagiri in the Gram Panchayat limits, two labourers manually segregate the waste into degradable and non-degradable. The degradable waste which will be dumped in the unit will be sprayed with OS-1 solution to get compost as the end product. The main advantage of using OS-1 solution, Shetty said is that it eliminates all odour within a matter of two to eight hours. The degradable waste at the unit takes eight weeks to decompose into phosphate rich manure, which can then be sold commercially. We have to sprinkle water everyday. In fact, its almost four weeks since the commencement of the unit. The decomposition process of the waste has already commenced, he says.

“Once produced, the manure can be distributed among the farmers through agriculture and horticulture department with the help of Zilla Panchayat.” In fact, Zilla Panchayat CEO P Shivashankar has asked us to name it as ‘Laila Gold,’ he added.

He says there are around 100 shops in the Gram Panchayat limits. The Gram Panchayats will give two boxes to these shops to segregate the waste from the sources and hand it over to the vehicle within 15 days. The Gram Panchayat will collect a nominal fee of Re 1 from the shops daily for collecting the waste.  The Gram Panchayat has grown grass in and around the disposal unit and has set up a park at the vicinity. “We do not want people to close their nose when they reach the spot. We want people to enjoy the greenery around,” he says with a smile.