Dhenkanal: The enormity of metros seems futile in the serenity of minimalism of Dehenkanal, only to marred off its beauty by spilled waste. The scenic adultery caused by the blood stained sanitary pads scattered all around roads by dogs is just one of the many problems caused by poor waste management like increase in communicable diseases and contamination of natural resources.

The district magistrate of Dhenkanal generates 21 tonne solid waste per day collected by door to door tricycle service. The town is in deficit of every requirement for proper waste management, on smaller level–tricycles, dustbins, work force and more importantly on the bigger prospect a proper drainage system, solid waste disposal and dumping and treatment plant.

There are only 23 tricycles for door to door collection, short of at least 20. There are only 150 cleanliness workers. The major dumping ground, Banjokusum, spread across eight acres has already crossed the height of 15ft, with no action to segregate the garbage into different categories.

Talking about the infrastructural unavailability, Vibhuti Bhushan, Sanitation Officer, Dhenkanal Municipality said, “It has been two months since we have passed a tender for more dustbins. We have also submitted a Detail Project Report to the government for developing a fully functional water treatment plant near Mahishpat which will incur nearly Rs. 5 crore investment. We will soon be floating a tender for the same once approved.”

However, he declined about any future plans for solid waste management at the dumping area or segregation at the point of collection. Adding he said that the committee does provide safety measures like gloves, jackets, gum boots etc. to the workers but there isn’t much acceptability among them.

Certain areas of the town have better facilities than others, Kunjakant region being one. Gudiya Nali, a resident of the colony is happy that the tricycle person comes twice a week to collect the garbage. But, the authorised seventeen slums in the town and the more crowded markets like Ganesh and Meena Bazar aren’t getting that equal attention. Officials from the municipality said that lack of work force is one of the reasons.

Talking about the water treatment plant, Pankaj Kumar Barik, Social Development Officer of Project Nirmal said, “We are developing the drainage system from the grass root level such as toilets to collect the sludge and process it to generate de-water and bio-fertile which will be further used for agriculture. In GIS mapping, we found that the ground water was getting contaminated due to the sludge flowing in Badhjoda canal and Brahmani river, which are channelized for drinking purpose also.”

He added that though 60% of the town had toilets at their home, still 60% people go for open de-faecatation. The problem here is not of lack of information, but lack of putting it into action. Indian Institute of Mass Communication lacks a dumping dustbin, instead the garbage accumulated at a place near the mess is burnt every week, increasing the pollution.

To counteract this, the municipality organizes orientation, workshop and educational programmes at school and tries the same in colonies to persuade people to throw garbage only in the dustbins. In markets, the defaulters are sometimes fined too. Also,  the Self Help Groups works on its level to promote and propagate cleanliness habits.

Along with awareness, Dhenkanal is in dire requirement of infrastructural development for proper waste disposal.

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