Waste Management challenge
A couple of years ago, several videos of dumping grounds in India were on the discussion table as it was staggeringly huge. Regional authorities & Municipal Corporations were asked about the solutions to it. It was impacting many households, as the dumping ground was getting filled on a daily basis. It was just incoming, and no proper procedure was followed to channelize the existing garbage at the place.
Central Government’s ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’, was launched to address this waste management challenge. Big cities were expected to address this challenge at the top, as they were the hotspot for dumping ground problems. Mumbai city was one of the top list members.
As time went by, small cities registered interest and were able to manage their landfills effectively. Panchgani, one of the most popular hill stations and tourist destinations in Maharashtra, became a role model for many small and big cities.
A hill station & municipal council located in the Satara district of Maharashtra is a popular tourist destination & renowned for many residential education institutions (Boarding schools). According to the history available on records, recite that Panchgani was discovered during British Raj in the 1860s.
As the hill station is nestled in the middle of five villages, it was named Panchgani, meaning “land between five villages”. This beautiful hill station was facing the challenge to manage its garbage as there were very few pieces of flat surface to create a dumping ground.
The dumping ground problem
Dumping ground or popularly called ‘Kachra Point’ in India, has created a question of the ability to manage the city’s garbage efficiently. Before Swachh Sarvekshan 2018, this beautiful hill station Panchgani was popularly called ‘Kachra Point’. The title from ‘Garbage point’ to ‘Cleanest City in West Zone’ is inspiring and must follow method for every citizen.
The story of Swach Bharat Point
The story began a decade ago, in 2012. Once upon a time, a beautiful scenic valley now became a hill of garbage and waste. Residents and the Municipal Council of Panchgani were upset with this scenario. Later, the concerned authorities took the initiative to segregate the waste.
The procedure was simple. Residents, education institutes, and businesses were asked to segregate their garbage in order to process it effectively. By solving this segregation problem, now, the main challenge existed, to manage the dumping ground.
The council started segregating wet & compostable waste to ensure no solid waste remains in landfills to contaminate its natural harmony. They dug the hill of garbage up to 100 feet and later realised the waste got decomposed. Further, it was a challenge to ensure no waste should be littered on the road, as it is a tourist hotspot too.
Residents of the hill station were urged to contribute to making this campaign a successful one. After all, it was all for the betterment of the residents and their surroundings. They realised the key to successful waste management lies in segregation.
Fines and penalties are imposed if the trash is thrown on the roads. Even if the waste is not segregated before disposal, fines & penalties are applied.
It is never an easy task to clean your mess. Collective efforts are required to do so. And the Municipal Council & Residents of Panchgani did it.
They showcased the will to clean their surroundings and set an example for other residents who think it is just the responsibility of the management authorities. We must take lessons from such small towns that are developing in a true sense.
– Parag Ahire