Environmental friendly measure yet to gain popularity

Environmental friendly measure yet to gain popularity

Despite cut in price, 'Mysore Gold' records tepid response

Environmental friendly measure yet to gain popularity

When the cry to save the environment gets louder with the celebration of World Environment Day every year on June 5, an environmental friendly measure by Mysore City Corporation (MCC), has suffered a setback thanks to the lack of official will.

This is evident with ‘Mysore Gold’, the organic compost produced through processed waste at Mysore City Corporation (MCC). The product has failed to take off, even after seven months after its launch. Reason - Lackadaisical attitude of the authorities concerned in marketing their own product.

The organic compost is produced after processing organic waste (food and vegetable refuse generated at houses and hotels) at the four zero waste management units of the city corporation located at different places.

An officer involved in the exercise told Deccan Herald that the response remained to be tepid even after the per kg price was slashed by 50 per cent (from Rs six to Rs three), a few months ago.

When the cut in price failed to attract intended customers, it was decided to seek the help of the Agriculture department. It was anticipated that a tie up with the department would benefit the sale of the product, as it caters to a large number of farming community.

Hopes fell flat, when the Agriculture department directed MCC towards Karnataka Compost Development Corporation (KCDC), stating that production and marketing of compost was dealt by KCDC.

No assistance

The city corporation knocked on the doors of the regional office of KCDC in the city too, but in vain. Due to the reasons best known to the authorities at compost development corporation, no assistance was given to MCC.

When the management of solid waste was turning out to be a formidable challenge to deal with, MCC thought of setting up a zero waste management unit at Ward 28 at Kumbara Koppal three years ago.

The city corporation roped in the representatives of ward parliament, the then MLC D Madegowda and K S Nagapathi, director of Mahajana Tourism Development Institute to take up the task. Following this, a zero waste management unit was set up at the burial ground of Kumbara Koppal at Hebbal three years ago. Initially, pourakarmikas and members of women self-help groups (SHGs) were employed for the segregation of waste.

Last November, three more zero waste management units were opened by constructing sheds under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM)- one each at J P Nagar coming under Zone two, Sewage Farm at Vidyaranyapuram (Zone one) and Jodi Tenginamara burial ground at Bannimantap (Zone six).

For the time being, waste collected from two wards (two tonnes) at four zones is diverted to these units daily. The waste received is manually segregated as organic and in-organic (plastic and others) by 12 members of SHGs at each units. They are paid according to daily wage fixed by the government at Rs 225, with 18.35 per cent towards provident fund.

The segregated waste is later dumped into the cement containers and mixed with cow dung. Exposed to sun, the pile of waste gradually reduces (with 40 per cent of the total waste remaining) and after three months, the left over waste is dried and sieved twice. The desired result is obtained with powdered compost. On an average five to six tonnes are produced per month at Hebbal unit. While, the compost at remaining three units remains to be generated.

Owing to lack of effective marketing, it is only due to the word of mouth, that the product is attracting customers, albeit in measly numbers. 

“Forget bags, a tractor load of compost is being sold at Rs 500,” bemoaned an officer, frustrated at the poor response to the initiative.