Saturday, December 10, 2022

Those who matter

As humans reach high pinnacles of development, the very inventions that make life seem better and comfortable are in fact responsible for degrading the environment and seriously damaging the eco-system. There are always two sides of a coin and so is the case with human development. On the part of the civic authorities, there is an urgent need to do more to clean up dirt or pick up garbage strewn across drains, streams, market places and roads. Disposal of garbage has become a very critical issue for many towns in the state especially Dimapur, where garbage is being strewn on roadside and any place. The DMC is doing its bit but there is so much to do. Unfortunately, there has been little serious thought given by authorities to effectively deal with garbage disposal. Cities and towns need to have the required number of employees to deal with garbage disposal. In Dimapur, the recent strike by the municipal employees has exposed the problems on two fronts- inadequate number of sweepers and cleaners, lack of proper garbage disposal system and also public who are one of the worst offenders by throwing garbage on roadsides and drains. It is undeniable that there is need to employ 200 or more sweepers and cleaners in Dimapur under contract work so as to give a big boost to cleanliness. Even public need to be held accountable for littering and various ward chairmen have to be sensitized about this matter. Imposition of penalty alone can discourage people from littering or creating unhygienic conditions. There are bound to be some difficulties especially with regard to dealing with those who simply don’t care about such issues. Keeping our towns clean requires effort, resources and manpower. The consciousness will also create a healthier attitude towards good citizenship which is also very much needed in our fast growing towns. The method for garbage disposal is also primitive and ineffective. Merely setting fire to the piles of garbage is a short term objective which is like brushing the problem under the carpet. Much of the contents of the piles of trash are mainly polythene bags, the consequences of a consumerist society that refuses to look for bio degradable items. Tackling this problem calls for proper waste management, a system not unknown but somehow not given the importance it deserves. Trash contains enough paper and plastic for it to burn without the need of any (or much) auxiliary fuel. As few communities recover energy from the waste dumped into landfills, this energy recovery represents a net energy gain to the local community. The primary step is to provide bio-degradable garbage bags. The municipal bodies should streamline collection and disposal by stationing movable garbage bins throughout the colonies. The third stage regarding waste management can be taken up only after the entire collection and disposal system is streamlined. It is time that the municipal bodies take up effective management of garbage disposal which will go a long way in maintaining and enforcing public hygiene. The problem could get worse with growing population and overstretched resources and lack of manpower. The answer is to greatly reduce number of babus and babunis in municipal bodies and inversely double or triple the number of sweepers.

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